Scottish council cancels cattle show because E. coli fears not taken seriously

This is proactively awesome.

After decades of farm-show-petting-zoo-fair related outbreaks, particularly of E. coli O157, and after four people were sickened last year, this weekend’s Drymen Show has been cancelled because organizers did not take appropriate steps to reduce risk of E. coli infection.

The Scottish Farmer, my favorite bathtime reading, reports the Drymen Show has been cancelled – and Stirling Council officials have laid the blame at the show organizers’ door, saying that they failed to follow steps to reduce the risk to visitors from E.coli O157 in animal dung.

Further, Stirling Council made it clear that the show’s organizers had been given several reminders about the bio-security rules, as concerns had been raised last year, when four people with links to Drymen Show were diagnosed with E. coli O157.

A spokesperson for the Council said the "Scottish Government provide guidance on the recreational use of animal pasture to reduce the risk of E.coli O157, stating that farm animals should be kept off fields for three weeks prior to use with removal of any visible animal droppings. Contact with farm animal feces on farm pasture presents a risk to the public, especially young children, from the spread of E. coli O157.

"Despite having received assurances that the animals had been removed, this was found not to be the case and animals remained on the show ground area as of May 18 – only 8 days before the date of the Show.

"It is particularly disappointing that the Drymen Show’s organizers did not act upon the proper advice given by Council officers. The same advice and licence conditions are adhered to by other agricultural shows in the Stirling area."

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time