• No petting zoos will be at Cleveland County Fair

    By: Ken Lemon


    CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. - There will be no petting zoos or any animal contact this year at the Cleveland County Fair, according to officials.

    Last year, more than 100 people got sick and a toddler died after E. coli contamination.

    Animals arrive Thursday. Officials with the department of agriculture will inspect them and check to make sure animal vendors follow the state law.

    However, they will not enforce the recommendations of the E. Coli Task Force.

    The task force formed after the E. coli outbreak. Channel 9 talked to Attorney Fred Pritzker Wednesday.

    "I think it's a lousy idea," said Pritzker. "I mean the whole point of having a task force and, given the history of E. coli outbreaks in North Carolina, requires that the highest standards be followed."

    They say they have worked closely with health officials to make sure there are warning signs and people to remind visitors to wash their hands. Fair-goers will have to pass hand-washing stations to go into or exit all animal exhibits.

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