The NFAN were one of the stakeholders the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) chose to help develop the Industry Code of Practice, which provides guidelines on how adults and children should interact with animals on farms. NFAN now help the HSE promote the code throughout the industry.
To obtain an independent audit of the Industry Code of Practice at your Farm Attraction join the AAA Scheme.
There are a few areas that have changed concerning risk assessments and communications.
In addition to ‘Animal contact areas’ and ‘non contact areas (picnic/play)’, ‘Look and See’ areas have been introduced.
‘Look and See’ areas are where animals are not intended to be interacted with, but visitors may come in contact with faeces on fences or indeed with animals who may come up to be petted. A good example is a farm walk away from the central animal contact areas or an interconnecting walkway between two central areas.
The revised ICOP identifies that measures should be taken to prevent contamination. Prevention can be achieved by double fencing, adding electric fences or by adding hand wash facilities at the end of the walk with adequate signage.
For these areas, robust risk assessments are required to back up your decisions.
Close monitoring of visitor numbers are required as a greater emphasis is being placed on having the adequate level of supervising staff in animal contact areas. Staff are required to encourage handwashing after touching animals/faeces.
Hand washing facilities should be on the visitor journey where visitors can see them and should not be tucked away. They should also be signed.
Handwashing facilities are required for visitors before and after play. This means when visitors are using a certain area i.e. animal barn or outdoor play area, and then leave and move to an indoor play area, handwashing facilities are required for when they leave and when they enter the new area.
For paddocks being used for camping/public events, the three week rule for keeping animals out of paddocks has an additional warning that microorganisms can exist for longer than three weeks in faeces on pasture.
A schedule of cleaning is required for play areas.
Mobile petting attractions now have their own section with summarised rules.
Rather than focussing on temporary fixes, the ICOP now says that you need to include in your risk assessments, longer term more robust solutions if relevant.
In 2019 NFAN produced an advice video for running a safe lambing event with bottle feeding lambs. This advice also applies to kid goats.
The Code of Practice is now an essential document for HSE agencies who inspect premises, as well as farm parks themselves.
During 2013 NFAN alongside other agencies ran a series of free workshops around the UK on the Industry Code of Practice for Environmental Health officers, farm operators and other interested parties. NFAN continue to run Health & Safety workshops including the Industry Code of Practice. Please see our Educational Workshop schedule.
Any farm park or rural attraction who have questions about the Industry Code of Practice are encouraged to call the NFAN office on 03333 44 8987.
The key recommendations in the Industry Code of Practice have been summarised in a 15 point checklist which NFAN members are required to adhere to…
1. Code of Practice
You have read the Code of Practice and a copy is available at your site.
2. CoP Video
You & your staff have watched & understood the importance the CoP video to keep visitors and staff safe on your site.
3. Risk Assessment
You have an effective written risk assessment procedure.
4. Visitor Information
Information is available to visitors to cover the possible risk to health / adequate information is given to visitors on the possible risks to health.
5. Hand Washing Signage
There is information available & signage to advise visitors to wash their hands before eating and drinking after contact with animals.
6. Hand Washing
Your attraction provides and maintains adequate hand washing facilities.
7. Hand Washing Servicing Animal Contact Areas
Hand washing stations servicing animal contact areas and eating areas have hot and cold or warm running water, liquid soap is provided.
Note: If the site is open on an occasional basis (less than X days per year) then cold running water, soap and paper towels would be acceptable.
8. Hand Washing Instructions
Instructions on hand washing techniques are displayed.
9. Cleansing Wipes and Anti-bacterial Gels
Cleansing wipes or anti-bacterial gels, where used, are in addition to proper hand washing – not as a substitute, (these can be situated elsewhere on site but not near animals as visitors might decide to use sanitiser instead of soap and water).
10. Visitor Routes
All visitor routes are kept clean of animal faeces to reduce the risk of cross contamination including FYM and liquid waste. Animal pens are boarded/barriered to prevent faecal run and are cleaned regularly with DEFRA approved disinfectant.
11. Animal Pens
The public are prevented from entering animal pens. Where animals are moved internally on the site or animals are brought out to visitors (lamb feeding etc), all muck is picked up immediately to prevent contamination on shoes and pushchairs and hard surfaces are cleaned down every time.
12. Eating and Drinking
Visitors are prohibited from eating and drinking in animal contact areas.
13. Children’s Play Areas
Children’s play areas and picnic areas are separated from animal contact areas, contact with animals is prevented e.g. by double fencing.
14. Staff Appreciation of Risks
Staff appreciate risks associated with non-hand washing, staff are able to provide visitors with relevant information/guidance on potential risks.
15. Access Signage
All areas which the public have access to must be clearly defined – “no entrance” signs clear.
It’s important to educate visitors about they can help protect themselves on their visit. The HSE has produced a free document which you can download and print to give to customers or use as a template to create your own version in your brand style.
This advice is for teachers and others who organise visits for children. It explains actions that you can take to reduce the risk of ill health arising from contact with animals.
In February 2018 NFAN launched the Animal Attraction Assured certification scheme. NFAN in conjunction with Kiwa Agri Food have developed this independently audited scheme to raise awareness of industry standards and to provide the industry with a robust structure for the implementation of the Code of Practice.
There is a speperate section of the website that contains details of the AAA Certification Scheme
In 2010 NFAN produced a set of guidance notes (a pre-cursor to the Industry Code of Practice), which as well as covering animal interaction also covered many other areas of advice on safety at farm attractions. The Industry Guidance Notes were updated in 2017 to take on board the Industry Code of Practice and latest changes in legislation.
The Industry Guidance Notes (2017) comprises a series of 9 Practice Notes which can be downloaded by clicking the links below.
NFAN were instrumental in allowing permission for a vaccine against E.coli 0157 to be used in the UK on farm animals. Sadly this vaccine is no longer in production. NFAN is keeping a watching brief and will advise members of any developments. For further information, we have posted an article about the E.coli vaccine.
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