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Close the petting zoos

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Petting zoos are hotbeds of E. coli bacteria,

A spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently said, "We're seeing increasing outbreaks (of E. coli) at petting zoos. Unfortunately, the smallest children are the most susceptible."


Hand-washing guidelines do little to protect people and absolutely nothing to help animals. The Animal Welfare Act, which doesn't even cover birds, horses and some other species, only requires petting zoos to give animals enough room to stand up and turn around. Many petting zoos fail to meet even these minimal standards.

It's time to shut down these unhealthy, inhumane exhibits for good. The risks to people and animals is simply too great to allow them to stay in business. ...

Jennifer O'Connor

Norfolk, Va.

The writer is Animals in Entertainment campaign writer with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.