Killer bug fears KO historic Show

DRIMIN SHOW, GV'PHOTO EMMA MITCHELL'30/5/11
DRIMIN SHOW, GV'PHOTO EMMA MITCHELL'30/5/11

THE historic Drymen show has been cancelled - over fears people could contract the crippling E.coli stomach bug.

Health and safety bosses pulled the plug on what would have been the 184th annual event over concerns that animal droppings could make people sick.

They discovered that the field where the popular agricultural show was due to be held on Saturday had not been free of livestock for the required three weeks.

Four people became ill with E.coli - which can kill - after last year’s event.

A spokesperson for Stirling Council said: “The Scottish Government provides guidance on the recreational use of animal pasture to reduce the risk of E.coli 0157, 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 faeces on farm pasture presents a risk to the public, especially young children, from the spread of E.coli 0157.”

Following last year’s event the Drymen Show Society’s organisers were advised of the site clearance advice from Health Protection Scotland and informed that this would be required for any future events.

The council added: “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 eight days before the date of the show. It is particularly disappointing that the Drymen Show’s organisers did not act upon the advice given by council officers.”

Roz Heslop, secretary of the Strathendrick Agricultural Society, said: “There has been a breakdown in communication between ourselves and the local authority regarding bio-security.

“Hopefully in future years the event can go ahead as planned and a compromise can be reached with the regulators over bio-security issues.

“This is one of the top attractions in the local area benefiting the local economy and communities far beyond the showfield.

“An apology goes out to all the members, sponsors, exhibitors, trade stands, suppliers and visitors. We hope that in future we will be able to work with all parties involved to bring you a fresher, better show.”

A planned exhibition by the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute will now take place in Drymen village hall.

Entries must be in for 9.30am for judging and the hall will be open to visitors from 1pm.