NI Direct are urging farmers in Northern Ireland to take care this lambing season. The warning is specifically for pregnant women as some ewe’s can carry infections which may prove as a rick to the inborn child. NI Direct share this warning on their website.

Northern Ireland advice from Farmers at Lambing season

Reports of these infections are extremely rare. But it is important that pregnant women are aware of the potential risks associated with close contact with these animals and that they take appropriate precautions.

To avoid the possible risk of infection, pregnant women are advised that they should:

  • not help to lamb ewes
  • not provide assistance with a cow that is calving or a nanny goat that is kidding
  • avoid contact with aborted or new-born lambs, calves or kids or with the afterbirth, birthing fluids or materials (for example, bedding) contaminated by such birth products
  • avoid handling (including washing) clothing, boots or any materials which may have come into contact with animals that have recently given birth, their young or afterbirths. Potentially contaminated clothing will be safe to handle after being washed on a hot cycle
  • ensure their partner attending lambing ewes or other animals takes appropriate health and hygiene precautions, including the wearing of personal protective equipment and clothing, and adequate washing to remove any potential contamination
  • seek medical advice if they experience fever or flu-like symptoms, or if concerned that they could have acquired infection from a farm environment

It is also important to note that these risks are not only confined to the spring (when the majority of lambs are born).

Northern Ireland farmers have also been encourages to reduce the rick to any pregnant women who may be visiting their farm or the vicinity. Farmers should consult with their local vet if they require any information or any more advice this Lambing season in Northern Ireland.