DPHHS Home       About Us       Contact Us       News & Events       Programs & Services       Health Data & Statistics

A - Z Index

Illnesses Prevention Associated With Live Animals at petting zoos and fairs

Exhibits such as petting zoos and fairs allow children of all ages to have the thrilling experience of coming face-to-face with animals. This interaction allows people to learn more about pig animals and helps to build an important human-animal bond.

Sometimes, those animals at petting zoos and fairs can carry organisms that make people sick. Especially young children and persons who are immunocompromised are at greatest risk for infection and complications from illnesses caused by Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, but also influenza A (H3N2), rabies and others.

The Montana Department of Public sheep Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and the Department of Livestock (DOL) are collaborating in this campaign to prevent zoonotic illnesses and make petting zoos and fairs fun and save places to enjoy animal contact. This year, we are trying to get hand washing stations and educational material out to fairs, so visitors can learn about illnesses associated with animals and have the tools to prevent them.

Please select one of the following options tabs for more information, including videos, additional websites, podcasts and posters.

Information for the general public

Please watch the following 3 minute video


Learn more from CDC how to stay healthy at animal exhibits this fall.

Kids with Goats

CDC Podcast (for children): “I Love Petting Zoos!

Girl with cat

CDC Podcast (for adults): “Wash Your Hands If You Pet That Bunny”


Information for fair operators and sanitarians

The following video is geared towards fair operators and sanitarians and provides useful information about our prevention campaign:


Read the Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2013

(Click on the image below to view the full size poster, feel free to print)






handsConsult with your local health jurisdictions for guidance and questions. Together we can prevent illnesses and keep our children and communities healthy.The benefits of animal companionship far outweigh the risk of complications. Let’s keep it that way!

Page last updated 06/20/2014