Mole Valley Farmers is urging farmers to wear gloves at lambing to prevent sepsis risk, and is donating money from every box of full-length gloves sold this lambing season to the UK Sepsis Trust.

Many farmers do not wear gloves when lambing sheep and could be putting themselves or their staff at unnecessary risk on contracting the infection, Mole Valley Farmers said.

The agricultural suppliers retailer said minor skin injuries and skin infections cause about 10% of all sepsis cases, but among farmers it is “significantly higher” due to the nature of their work.

Falls, crush injuries and needle stick injuries also increase the chances of farmers contracting the infection.

Mole Valley Farmers’ senior product manager, Trevor Frost, said no farmer should be taking the risk of not wearing gloves at lambing time.

“Ask yourself, is not wearing gloves really worth the risk? So many people don’t wear gloves, and they ought to,” he said.

“Very few farmers will calve a cow without wearing a full-length glove, yet the opposite is true when lambing a sheep.

“£20 can go a long way to getting all the gloves you need for a season, and in return, a proportion of that money will go directly to the UK Sepsis Trust to help fund the vital work of raising awareness of this deadly killer.

“This campaign isn’t about raising money for our business, but simply about raising awareness of sepsis and its risks, and promoting best practice.”

Sepsis in farming

Mole Valley Farmers will also be spreading sepsis awareness through its stores, newsletter and online platforms.

“If we can help save just one life, then that’s a start,” Frost said.

Sepsis is an illness that was highlighted in the farming community in 2021 when, 26-year-old Cumbrian farmer Hannah Brown died from the disease.

Sepsis arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. If it isn’t treated immediately with antibiotics, it can result in organ failure and death.

Brown worked at Mole Valley Farmers’ Leyburn store and the company said she was well-known in the farming community and on the livestock show circuit.

Following her death, Brown’s family worked with the Trust and NFU Mutual to raise awareness of sepsis and the increased risk in farming.

In August last year, a video was released aimed at raising awareness of sepsis and its symptoms in farming and rural communities by rural insurer NFU Mutual in collaboration with the UK Sepsis Trust.

“Hannah’s tragic loss demonstrated that sepsis can happen to anyone and the importance of protecting yourself,” Frost said.

“Something as simple as wearing gloves could be all that is needed to prevent you from contracting sepsis.”