WRAL.com at the State Fair

Do not touch: 2013 fair won't have petting zoo

Posted October 17, 2013

One thing you will NOT find at this year's state fair is a petting zoo.

Fair organizers say concerns over people getting sick made it impossible for the petting zoo organizer to get liability insurance.

You may remember the petting zoo has been blamed for e-coli outbreaks in our area. In 2011, 27 people became sick after visiting one of the exhibits, and in 2004 more than 100 people got sick.

Since then, there were extra preventative measures put in place. But fair organizers say with a petting zoo, it's hard to be 100 percent safe.

If you love animals though, don't worry, you'll still see plenty at this year's fair. Just no touching!

State fair petting zoo Petting zoo nixed for 2013 fair


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  • 678devilish Oct 18, 2013

    That is so great. Good decision on the Fair committees part in all of this. Parents can take their children to the ZOO in Asheboro, NC to see the animals and birds. They care encaged so it will not matter if the children press on the glass.

  • outhousecat Oct 18, 2013

    I completely agree with devilblue. I grew up around farm animals and being a kid, sometimes I washed and sometimes I didn't, even though my mom and grandma stayed on us about that. Now I hardly ever get sick.

    I feel bad for this generation coming up now. I foresee a big, sad pandemic of something wiping out a great deal of our population. People, put your kids outside, in the dirt, with dogs, cats, bugs and whatever else they get into. You'll be doing them a giant favor.

  • devilblue Oct 18, 2013

    That is disappointing. My favorite thing about going to the fair is to see and pet the animals. I agree with PappybigTuna. Kids don't have the immunities to germs these days. I am not and never have been a germaphobic and rarely do I get sick with anything. I don't keep hand sanitizer in my purse or on my desk. I wash my hands and use common sense.

  • sweetlyght Oct 18, 2013

    That's ashame. I always enjoyed the petting zoo.

  • AtALost Oct 18, 2013

    Animals walking and laying around in their own feces would be my bet. There have always been animals but there also used to be common sense. I was taught to wash my hands often, yet I continue to see women leave rest rooms without touching the sink. Bottom line, lazy and/or nasty parents equal nasty kids. If you want to pet animals, please go to the zoo.

  • bubbasu1 Oct 18, 2013

    I too doubt it was the animals. Think of how many thousands of people attend the fair, think of all the surfaces people touch/come in contact with.Think of all the dirty hands touching all those surfaces, think of all those that do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. All the food people touch and then put that food in their mouths with their hands.There are far too many variables to blame it on the animals. There have always been animals of some sort at the Fair and no problems . I am more inclined ot think it was from food . How many times have we read of food recalls causing illness.I'm an adult and I always enjoyed the petting zoo and will miss it .

  • scubagirl2 Oct 18, 2013

    I really don't think it was the food! The health inspectors are all over the food vendors at the fair and always have been. Maybe it came from animals, maybe it came from poor handwashing, my vote is the handwashing because that needs to occur after not only petting the animals. Common sense folks, remember that?

  • pappybigtuna1 Oct 18, 2013

    You ask why? Well, farm children are exposed to life, dirt, mud, insects, and all kinds of "stuff", they build up antibodies.

    A majority of children are only exposed to antibiotic soap, antibiotic toilet seats, sanitary wipes - these children have built up antibodies to "sanitary"

    It takes 2 or 3 decades of the sanitary life style to completely come to the surface, then you have generations of weak infect able children.

    The animals are as dirty as they have always been, no new dirt or germs.

  • WageSlave Oct 18, 2013

    What I can't figure out is if "handling animals" make you sick, how do farmers seem to do this without getting sick? They DON'T wash their hands after handling cows, pigs, chickens goats, etc., except when the farmers have had to "assist with a birth, but do "wash up for lunch".
    Pulling for the Tarheels

    Peoples imune systems are built upon what they are around. Think about the state fair. You have animals and people coming from a whole state (and sometimes farther) all mixing together. Some people are going to get sick regardless.

  • WageSlave Oct 18, 2013

    So what happened in 2005-2010 and 2012? Then it was possible to prevent infection?

    They couldnt just put out hand sanitizer?

    They spent several thousand dollars doing just that and installing handwash stations. But people are people and nature is nature. Not everyone knows, or thinks to wash there hands after handling some things. Now, because of this people can't enjoy a petting zoo.