Birmingham & Black Country

Sutton Park cattle return after E. coli outbreak

Cattle are to be returned to a Birmingham park associated with a string of E. coli cases after they were given a clean bill of health.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) advised parents to keep children aged under 10 away from Sutton Park in September.

Six children and two adults infected with E. coli O157 between July and September have made a full recovery.

Birmingham City Council said the cattle would be returned on 7 May.

Infection risk

The HPA said the infection was often associated with contact with animals or contact with animal faeces.

New fences and cattle grids had been installed to "create greater separation between cattle and people to minimise the risk of further infection", the council said.

Visitors to the park are being asked to wash their hands - especially after contact with animals - and before eating.

Darren Share, the council's head of parks, said: "The cattle have long been a feature of Sutton Park but public safety is paramount so we have been working with Public Health England to put in place a range of new measures so that people can enjoy the park safely this summer."

Sutton Park attracts about 2m visitors a year and was designated as a national nature reserve and a site of special scientific interest by English Nature in 1997.

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