POPULAR visitor attraction Cruckley Animal Farm has been permanently closed after an outbreak of E.coli.
The family-run farm, at Foston-on-the-Wolds, had been a firm favourite with school children and families for almost quarter of a century.
But now owners John and Sue Johnston have taken the decision to close the 60-acre site permanently after several visitors to the farm fell ill and a Health protection Agency investigation launched.
Mr and Mrs Johnston have spoken of their concern after learning that a number of visitors to the farm had fallen ill and their sadness at taking the decision to close.
Mr Johnston said: “At Cruckley Animal Farm, the health and safety of our visitors has always been our top priority.
“We were therefore hugely concerned to hear that a small number of people had fallen ill having visited us. As soon as we were informed of this we voluntarily closed the farm. Naturally our thoughts are with the families concerned.”
“We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many people over the years and hope we have provided an enjoyable and educational day for all of them. Obviously we are very sad to close and would like to thank our staff and the thousands of people who have supported us over the years,” he added.
It is believed that six cases of E-Coli 0157 have been linked to the farm and Mr Johnston said they are working closely with the HPA to help them with their enquiries.
According to the Health and Safety Executive people can become infected with this particular strand of E.coli through a number of routes including direct contact with animals and contact with animal faeces. They said a number of outbreaks involving children have been associated with educational and recreational visits to open farms.
For the full story and reactions, see next Wednesday’s Driffield Times.