Pregnant Women Advised to Avoid Animals that are Giving Birth


Pregnant women who come into close contact with sheep during lambing or other farm animals that are giving birth,

may put themselves and their unborn child at risk of contracting an infectious disease sometimes carried by these pregnant
farm animals. Some of these diseases can cause an abortion in people. 

To avoid the risk of infection, pregnant women should:

  • not help ewes to lamb, or provide assistance to a cow that is calving or a nanny goat that is kidding;
  • avoid contact with aborted or new born lambs, calves or kids with the afterbirth, birthing fluids or materials
    (for example bedding) contaminated by such birth products;
  • avoid handling (including washing) clothing, boots or any materials that 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 contacts or partners who have attended lambing ewes or other animals giving birth take appropriate
    health and hygiene precautions, including the wearing of personal protective equipment and clothing.

Pregnant women should seek medical advise if they experience fever or flu-like symptoms, or if they are concerned that
they could have acquired infection from a farm environment.