Hygiene fears

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Bill Howatson’s comments on our agricultural shows (Farming, 10 June), especially the Royal Highland, were timely.

As he said, many are having to be innovative as never before to pull in the punters. The Black Isle Farmers’ Society Muir of Ord show has been doing just that. Nearly 30,000 people attend its main day, and horses feature on the day before.

Stock presentations, horticultural displays, merchandise stalls, machinery stands and special events make for a fine, varied day out, complete with plentiful food and drink facilities and even a funfair (which helps keep the show going).

It’s one of the best shows around.

There is a question about the hygiene at all shows, however; the animals can be handled by the public, and, of course, the 
excrement is trodden about.

While there seems to be no evidence that visitors have ever been affected adversely (unlike children visiting farms), occasional efforts are made to keep disinfectant handy by some pens, and it has to be wondered if the ever-present risk of 
Ecoli contamination needs more attention.

Joe Darby

Ross-shire