The Associated Press reports that “Aedin’s Law,” a bill to set stricter sanitation requirements for petting zoos, awaits North Carolina Governor Mike Easley’s signature after winning final approval by the Legislature.
The legislation was prompted by an E. coli outbreak that struck 108 visitors to petting zoos at the North Carolina State Fair last fall.
The law will require petting zoo operators to be inspected and obtain a permit from the state Agriculture Department. It also allows the department to set rules regarding animal care, hand-washing facilities, signs warning the public of health and safety issues, and any other requirements to protect visitors from potential harm.
The bill is called “Aedin’s Law” in honor of 2-year-old Aedin Gray of Orlando, Fla., one of 15 children whose exposure led to HUS, a life-threatening kidney ailment.