Petting zoos can provide hours of entertainment and education for visitors. However, animals on the farm can be very dangerous due to the germs they carry, which can cause severe illness. Germs can pass from animals to visitors through touching the animals or their surroundings.
In addition to diseases, injuries from animals are another important consideration. Injuries commonly caused by animals include being stepped on, pushed over or pinned between the animal and another object or wall or being kicked or bitten. Special care must be taken to protect the health and safety of visitors on operations that involve contact with animals or any time there are animals on the farm.
The “walkthrough” that follows will encompass some general animal safety guidelines and also provide links to useful resources.
Additional information on animal safety can be found at the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians website at http://www.nasphv.org/Documents/AnimalContactCompendium2013.pdf.