Petting Zoos Offer Real Health Hazards

October 20, 2006

To the Editor:

The article describing fun outings in the area had some creative suggestions, but failed to mention the very real health hazards of petting zoos (“A Corn-tastic Off-Cape Maze,” Oct. 17). Petting zoos are hotbeds of E. coli bacteria, and numerous children have been infected with the potentially deadly diseases after visiting such displays. Infections can spread through direct animal contact or simply by touching the surroundings near an animal exhibit.

If farmers want to avoid potential liability nightmares, they’ll stick with pumpkin patches and corn mazes and leave cruel and dangerous petting zoos in the “bad idea” file. If parents want to protect their kids health and well-being, they’ll avoid petting zoos altogether.

Jennifer O'Connor
Animals in Entertainment Campaign Writer
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
501 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23510
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