Petting zoo animals are mostly young, suffer needlessly from chronic stress, and are prevented from behaving in any natural way purely for human entertainment. Baby animals in petting zoos are denied natural socialization and normal development due to a premature separation from their mothers.
Essentially, petting zoos are teeming with serious pathogens, such as E. coli and salmonella (Out of 108 reports from health officials, there were 43 confirmed cases of E. coli from one petting zoo at the South Carolina State Fair! Despite the common claim that petting zoos are educational for children because they are exposed to animals that they wouldn’t come in contact with otherwise, children are learning that it is acceptable to treat animals inhumanely for their own entertainment.
With the fair and festival season in full swing, don’t let the allure of cute baby animals (or the hard-to-say-no-to face of your children or grandchildren) tempt you into entering a petting zoo. A petting zoo (often called, or part of, a children's zoo “) features a combination of domesticated animals and some wild species that are docile enough to touch and feed.
Most petting zoos are designed to provide only relatively placid, herbivorous domesticated animals, such as: sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits or ponies, to feed and interact physically with safety. This is in contrast to the usual zoo experience, where normally wild animals are viewed from behind safe enclosures where no contact is possible.
A few provide wild species (such as pythons or big cat cubs) to interact with, but these are rare and usually found outside Western nations. During the 1990s, Dutch cities began building petting zoos in many neighborhoods, so that urban children could interact with animals.
Common animals include: sheep, goats, rabbits, ponies, alpacas, llamas, pigs, miniature donkeys and miniature horses and a few exotic animals such as: kangaroos, emus, zebu cattle, macaws, lemurs and others. Sometimes in the past petting zoos would have house exotic animals like lion and tiger cubs.
In order to ensure the animals' health, the food is supplied by the zoo, either from vending machines or a kiosk. However, fair and agricultural show organizers should consider the potential for spread from person-to-person, person-to-animal, and possibly animal-to-animal.
If people will be interacting with animals at an event, take precautions to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Planners should also act in accordance with state and local jurisdictional guidance in regard to continuing operations at fair grounds or agricultural shows.
However, it appears that people can spread the virus to animals in some situations, usually during close contact. Event organizers should take precautions to minimize transmission of all zoonotic diseases between people and animals.
Some animals have been reported to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 worldwide, including pet cats and dogs in the United States. To date, there have been no reports of horses, cows, pigs, chickens, or ducks testing positive for SARS-COV-2.
Implement additional precautions to maintain at least 6 feet separation between any species shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, including cats and other fields; dogs; small mammals such as mink, ferrets, and rabbits; and other animals external icon shown to be susceptible to this virus. Prohibit susceptible animals from fairgrounds if they are not involved in fair or show activities.
Follow good biosecurity external icon practices preventing the spread of pathogens between the fair and the farm. Biosecurity applies to both people and animals and includes these practices: Use good hand hygiene.
Wear proper attire and PPE when coming in to contact with animals or where they live. Animals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may have a range of clinical signs including fever, coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, lethargy, sneezing, runny nose, eye discharge, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Exhibitors should report sick animals to the fair veterinarian or designee immediately. This includes cats and other fields, small mammals like mink, ferrets and rabbits, and dogs.
Include hand hygiene stations at the entrance and exit to petting zoos and other exhibits where people will be interacting with animals. Visitors should wash their hands before and after entering the area, even if they didn’t touch animals.
If possible, staff should be assigned at the exit to actively encourage handwashing. Masks are not recommended for children under 2 years or anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance.
Eliminate lines or queues if possible or encourage people to stay at least 6 feet apart by providing signs or other visual cues such as tape or chalk marks When designing petting zoo and other animal interaction areas, allow for social distancing and avoid high densities of people. Provide separate entry and exit points for visitors, so they do not need to pass close together while coming into and going out of the petting zoo.
Provide separate entry and exit points for visitors, so they do not need to pass close together while coming into and going out of the ring. Stagger activities in washing and grooming areas, or other shared spaces, so that animals from different farms or households do not interact unnecessarily and so that people can maintain a distance of at least 6 feet apart from each other.
Advise all staff and anyone visiting the event, including exhibitors, visitors, judges, and veterinarians, to stay home if they are sick. If feasible, also check health status of attendees, in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations.
Increase distance and limit the duration of contact (no more than 15 minutes) between exhibitors, visitors, judges, veterinarians, staff, and anyone else visiting the event. Use masks for visitors, exhibitors, judges, veterinarians, and staff, especially where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Masks are not a substitute for personal protective equipment (PPE), which should be worn when performing procedures on animals or when using cleaning and disinfecting chemicals. Masks are not recommended for children under 2 years or anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance.
Move entertainment scheduled for indoors (or in tented space) outside in an open-air setting, weather permitting. Use markings and signs to remind staff, exhibitors, and visitors to practice social distancing, wear masks in public spaces, especially when maintaining at least 6 feet apart may be difficult, wash their hands, and follow other safety measures.
Consider adding signs that illustrate the capacity limit of buildings, including bathrooms, and take steps to control the number of people entering and exiting facilities. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles/gates (including those to stall doors and bathrooms), and shared objects such as hoses, buckets, brooms, and pitchforks daily or more frequently based on the level of use.
Encourage participants to clean and disinfect items from home (halters, pitchforks, etc.) Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaners and disinfectants to avoid harm to employees and other individuals.
Staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent attendees or themselves from inhaling toxic vapors. Implement strategies to maintain safe concession areas and promote behaviors that reduce the spread: Encourage frequent handwashing, by setting up hand hygiene stations near food concession areas.
Avoid creating air movement that distributes dust, which may contain contaminants. Immediately separate visitors, exhibitors, judges, veterinarians, and staff with COVID-19 symptoms.
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See more Petting Zoos near Port Charlotte, FL Explore Your Options Browse through a variety of vendors in your area. Typically, planners in Port Charlotte, FL reach out to Petting Zoos 38 days before their event.
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Saturday is the most popular day of the week to book a Petting in Port Charlotte, FL. Events in Port Charlotte, FL with a hired Petting typically have Fewer than 25 guests in attendance.
Your little guests will have a blast petting their furry friends and learning lots about all the critters on Old MacDonald’s farm. Choose from the top vendors in the Port Charlotte, FL area and book today.