Chick Jacobs of the Fayetteville Observer reports that a grouping of portable wash stands, each slathered with a blizzard of reminders to wash hands thoroughly, separate the petting zoo from concession stand at the North Carolina State Fair – a reminder of last year’s outbreak that sickened over 100 children.
In addition, animals and children are separated by a carnival-colored, but very official, fence. Visitors can look, touch, and feed the animals – but are no longer allowed to walk amongst them as in years past.
Other state fairs across the country have followed suit, or have done away with petting zoos altogether in an attempt to prevent any potential for lawsuits.
North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Oregon are the first states to create guidelines for petting-zoo sanitation and safety.