More than 80 people are now seeking legal action after parents and children fell seriously ill with an animal parasite on a trip to a popular kids petting farm.  

The group were left with severe gastric illnesses and some were hospitalised after visiting Gannow Farm, in Inkberrow, Worcestershire, over the Easter holidays. 

Parents and children as young as one were struck down with sickness and diarrhoea after going to the attraction, which offers cuddles with lambs and calves. 

Many contracted cryptosporidium - a microscopic parasite which can cause gastrointestinal illness in both humans and animals - and still remain seriously ill.

Over 80 people have since come forward after they also fell poorly following a trip to the farm during March and April. 
The UK Health Security Agency and Wychavon District Council have also launched a probe into the farm, which has remained closed since. 

Sophie Enright, 14, from Hollywood, Birmingham, now fears her exam results will suffer as a consequence.

Sophie had visited the farm with her mum Emma Cleverley, 38, on April 3 and became ill with diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting by April 9.

Worcester News: CUDDLES: Sophie Enright at Gannow Farm Park in InkberrowCUDDLES: Sophie Enright at Gannow Farm Park in Inkberrow (Image: SWNS)

As Sophie’s condition deteriorated, her mum called a GP on April 11 who said she was fourth person he'd seen that day with the same symptoms after visiting the farm. 

Today, Sophie continues to suffer from debilitating symptoms, including stomach pains and lethargy and has lost more than a stone in weight. 

The illness meant Sophie had to take time off school and her head of year said her exam grades might suffer as a consequence. 

Her mum said: “Sophie still isn’t well and she was devastated to have missed school in the run up to her mock exams and as suffered with her mental health as a result.

“Our focus has been on seeing Sophie make a full recovery but given all of the people who’ve been so ill, I think there are questions to answer.”

Jatinder Paul, head of the specialist public health team at Irwin Mitchell, who is supporting the families, said: “It’s deeply concerning that over 80 people have now come forward, all with similar stories to tell of being diagnosed with cryptosporidium following their visit.

“Cryptosporidium is known to cause gastrointestinal illness and can be a serious condition for many vulnerable groups, including children and older people. 

"A type of microscopic parasite, cryptosporidium can cause illness in both humans and animals alike.

“It’s vital that people take the proper precautions to protect themselves and their families from the risk of infection.

READ MORE: Parents want answers as children fall ill after Gannow Farm visit

READ MORE: Investigation into what caused sickness outbreak at Worcestershire farm

READ MORE: Sickness and diarrhoea outbreak among visitors to popular farm park

“If during the case of our investigations any issues are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned to improve public safety.”

In a Facebook post, the farm said: "We at Gannow Farm take the welfare of our visitors very seriously and for that reason we have decided to close for the remainder of the 2024 Farm Experience. 

"This is a decision taken by the team and not by governing bodies however we are working closely with them as always. 

"We would like to wish anyone that is poorly a speedy recovery."