Bridgend County Borough Council,Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB

Tel: 01656 643643
Text Relay:
18001 01656 643643
Fax: 01656 668126
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Opening times
Monday - Thursday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm

How to find us

Farms/animal contact (HOOF)

Although a visit to an open farm can be fun and educational for children, it is important to remember that farm animals carry bacteria, including E.coli 0157. This bacterium lives in the gut of many animals, including cattle, sheep and goats. If a child, or adult, makes contact with E.coli, the toxins it produces can cause illness, including diarrhoea and nausea to kidney failure.

People can become infected by a number of routes which include consuming contaminated foods, direct contact with animals, contact with animal faeces e.g. coming into contact with contaminated fences and person-to-person spread.  

Even though there is a risk of infection from a visit to an open farm, these can be controlled by taking simple precautions. These include:

  • Thoroughly washing your hands with soap and warm water immediately after touching animals, their fencing or bedding;
  • Eating, drinking and/or smoking in designated areas only after thoroughly washing your hands with soap and warm water;
  • Throwing away any food or drink which have fallen on the ground;
  • Ensuring that children are closely supervised and making sure they wash their hands thoroughly;
  • Ensuring that children do not put their faces close to the animals; and
  • Avoid putting fingers in mouths and hands on faces while walking around the farm.

Before leaving the farm, check that footwear and pushchair wheels are as free as possible from mud and animal droppings.  Where possible, clean footwear and pushchair wheels thoroughly before leaving the farm and if possible, change into other footwear. Ensure that everyone washes their hands thoroughly with soap and water after removing and cleaning footwear.

Following your visit to an open farm, should you or anyone in your group feel unwell with sickness and diarrhoea within 14 days of the visit, you should contact your GP. It is important that good personal hygiene is continued when you feel unwell. Children under five years of age should not attend nursery/school/group childcare until they have had no sickness or diarrhoea for two full days.  Parents should discuss their situation with their health professional before their child returns to nursery or school, as tests are required to confirm if it is safe for them to return. Anyone who suspects that they or their child may have E.coli 0157 should contact their GP or out-of-hours service as soon as possible.

Further information is available on the Public Health Wales website at: or on the Health Protection Agency website at:


Last Updated: 19/09/2013
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