Petting Zoo Information

Marin County Fair Responds to E.coli Contamination at San Diego County Fair

June 29, 2019 – In response to the tragic death of a 2-year-old boy from E.coli after visiting the petting zoo at the San Diego County Fair, we want to ensure fairgoers at the Marin County Fair that the company we use for our petting zoo has a 36-year history of providing safe, sanitary, healthy, and clean animals to fairs across the country.

The petting zoo at the Marin County Fair will remain open for those fairgoers who would still like to pet the animals, but everyone will be required to wash their hands before leaving the area. There will be added signage alerting the public about the importance of hand washing and the transmission of bacteria and disease. This is the most important step people need to take to help prevent infection. If fairgoers would rather not enter the petting zoo area but still want to experience the animals, petting zoo staff will offer short talks throughout the day about the animals.

"Our hearts go out to the families in San Diego during this difficult time," says Gabriella C. Calicchio, Director of Cultural Services. "I want to assure our fairgoers that the Marin County Fair has a long history with the Great American Petting Zoo and feel confident that their public health and safety program and sanitation procedures follow best practices in the industry."

Since 1983, the Great American Entertainment Company has been providing the highest quality petting zoos and pony rides to state and county fairs across the country. They guarantee a safe, entertaining, and educational experience for every person. Their staff is specially trained in basic veterinary care and animal husbandry. The petting zoo and the surrounding areas are kept immaculately clean at all times.

The most important step people should take to help prevent infection is to practice good hand washing hygiene. Always wash your hands thoroughly after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even your own backyard). Everyone, especially young children, older individuals, and people with weakened immune systems, should wash their hands before eating or drinking.