New Rules Established For Animal Exhibitions In N.C.
Posted July 20, 2006 10:48 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — The state Board of Agriculture on Wednesday approved rules governing animal exhibitions at agricultural fairs.
The rules are designed for reducing the risk of diseases being transmitted from animals to people.
"Animals are an important part of any agricultural fair, and these rules will help protect fairgoers as they interact with animals at these events," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
The requirements include hand-washing facilities, a barrier between animal bedding and patrons to reduce contact with manure, increased signage warning of the risks associated with animal contact, and a prohibition on certain items, such as food, drinks, strollers and pacifiers, in animal areas.
Agriculture department officials will also conduct spot inspections at petting zoos and issue permits. The regulations were required under
, which the General Assembly enacted last year.
The new rules, which apply to petting zoos and similar attractions at North Carolina's 45 sanctioned agricultural fairs, are scheduled to take effect Sept. 1. The rule does not apply to private petting zoos.