A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Don't pet the petting ponies please!

Now wash your hands, please!We have seen four petting farms closed down in as many weeks. These are wonderful places generally where children as well as adults can touch animals who are deemed tame enough not to bite back or get pissed off with people. Animals can carry bacteria and germs. So can humans for that matter. A microbiologist, Professor Hugh Pennington, has said that children under five were "most likely to touch the animals" and "the most difficult part of the population to get to wash their hands". That may well be so. I note he implies there are other parts of the population!

This outbreak of E.coli has all led to the idea that the animals are to blame. I'd say it was the humans. As a country we have some filthy habits. I know that I can go into a public convenience in any town and see men walking out without washing their hands. We know it goes on. We've all seen it. One has to wonder where they were when they were under five? Probably not being told of hygiene by their advanced non-handwashing parents.

And it's not just confined to public conveniences. I've witnessed many people avoiding the "handwashing stations" in hospitals. Most of the time I just hope my natural immune system won't let me down.

Professor Ron Cutler, who is an expert on infectious diseases at Queen Mary University of London, says more is needed to be done to enable children to keep visiting petting farms and zoos. Quite so. He thinks operators should think about giving visitors nail brushes to clean their hands after touching animals. "We have to put some sort of logical controls in."

Like a sheep dip?


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