The N.C. Board of Agriculture has announced that they have approved rules governing animal exhibitions at agricultural fairs.

The rules are aimed at reducing the risk of diseases being transmitted from animals to people. The regulations were required under Aedin’s Law, which the General Assembly enacted last year.

"Animals are an important part of any agricultural fair, and these rules will help protect fairgoers as they interact with animals at these events," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

The requirements include hand-washing facilities, a barrier between animal bedding and patrons to reduce contact with manure, increased signage warning of the risks associated with animal contact, and a prohibition on certain items, such as food, drinks, strollers and pacifiers, in animal areas.

The rules are based on guidelines developed by the department and state public health officials and used voluntarily by agricultural fairs last year.

The rules are scheduled to take effect on September 1.