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Advice for pregnant women during lambing

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If you are pregnant, you should avoid close contact with sheep during the lambing season as you could be at risk from infections that occur in some ewes.

The infections in question include chlamydiosis (Enzootic Abortion of Ewes (EAE)), and toxoplasmosis, which are relatively common causes of abortion in ewes. Listeriosis and Q-fever may also occur.

Pregnant women should:

  • not help with lambing or milk ewes
  • avoid contact with aborted or new-born lambs or with the afterbirth
  • avoid handling all clothing that has come into contact with the lambing process
  • seek medical advice if they experience fever or influenza like symptoms, or are concerned that they could have acquired infection from a farm environment.
If you require any further advice, please contact your local doctor.