Two-year-old Aedin Gray was among the 43 people contracted E. coli at a petting zoo at the North Carolina State Fair last October. The Carrboro toddler spent 36 days in the hospital, sustained permanent damage to her kidneys and pancreas and now wears an insulin pump to handle the diabetes she has since developed.
Aedin was recognized by the General Assembly as lawmakers gave final approval to what has become known as “Aedin’s Law”.
The law requires petting zoos to obtain permits and undergo inspections. Hand-washing facilities will also be mandated at petting zoos under the new regulations. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture will hire two inspectors specifically to oversee petting zoos.
Kyle and Liz Gray, Aedin’s parents, said they hope the legislation will prevent other children from going through the same trauma their daughter endured.