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E.Coli And Cryptosporidium Outbreaks Being Investigated At Leeds Petting Farm


Expert Public Health lawyers at national law firm have expressed concerns over an outbreak of E.Coli and Cryptosporidium reportedly linked to a petting farm in Leeds that has affected more than 30 people.


A total of 29 cases of Cryptosporidium, which can cause gastroenteritis and is commonly associated with diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and in some cases vomiting, fever and nausea, have been confirmed, with a further two cases of E.Coli O157.


It has been reported that all those affected visited Swithens Farm in Rothwell from the beginning of March onwards and Public Health England (PHE) has now launched an investigation.


The farm voluntarily closed the facility after the outbreak was identified and it has now reopened to the public.


Jennifer Mullins, a specialist Public Health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who has represented hundreds of people who have suffered gastric illnesses, some as a result of exposure to Cryptosporidium and E.Coli, said:


Expert Opinion
“The discovery of Cryptosporidium and E.Coli is always concerning and we welcome the PHE’s involvement in the investigation, as well as the owner’s decision to close the farm while the source of the outbreak was investigated.

“Cryptosporidium is a very common disease in young farm animals and as such it is important that farm attractions make use of the Industry Code of Practice on how to protect visitors and staff from illness, to ensure that they are doing all that they can to comply with the law.

"The focus must now be on protecting the general public by ensuring that the cause of the outbreak is identified and action is taken to help prevent similar incidents in the future.

“Illnesses such as E.Coli and Cryptosporidium can have serious health implications for those affected and we regularly represent people who sadly face long-term health problems as a result of these infections.”
Jennifer Mullins, Solicitor


Dr Mike Gent, consultant in communicable disease control with Public Health England, said: “We are working closely with Leeds City Council and Animal and Plant Health Agency to investigate further and to advise the premises concerned.”

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