An animal venue operator is a person, company, or entity who offers a setting where public contact with animals is encouraged, such as a petting zoo, county fair, or horse or pony rides. Animal venue operators have responsibilities under Washington State rules to help prevent diseases from being transferred from animals to people. The following information and resources are to help venue operators comply with state rules.
Animals in Public Settings
State rule, WAC 246-100-192, says an animal venue operator shall provide a hand-washing station or alternative hand sanitizing method and post a prominent sign in a simple and easy-to-understand format for visitors to see before they enter the animal exhibit area which warns that:
- Animals can carry germs that can make people sick, even animals that appear healthy.
- Eating, drinking, or putting things in a person's mouth in animal areas could cause illness.
- Older adults, pregnant women, immunocompromised people, and young children are more likely to become ill from contact with animals.
- Young children and individuals with intellectual disabilities should be supervised in animal exhibit areas.
- Strollers, baby bottles, pacifiers, and children's toys are not recommended in animal exhibit areas.
Animal venue operators must also post a prominent sign at each exit of the animal exhibit area reminding visitors to wash their hands.
To comply with this rule, an animal venue operator can create their own signs, or they can use these:
- Fair "Wash Your Hands" Poster Series
Handwashing is easy to do and it's one of the most effective ways to ways to prevent the spread of germs.
Fair managers and other animal venue operators are encourage to use the Fair "Wash Your Hands" posters to help educate their visitors.
- Welcome to the Fair - Wash your hands English (PDF) Spanish (PDF)
- Entrance sign - Warning of health risks and how to be safe while visiting animals English (PDF) Spanish (PDF)
- Exit sign - Wash your hand after visiting animals English (PDF) Spanish (PDF)
- Wash your hands before eating English (PDF) Spanish (PDF)
- Hand washing instructions English (PDF) Spanish (PFD)
- Directional sign - Hand washing station right English (PDF) Spanish (PDF)
- Directional sign - Hand washing station left English(PDF) Spanish (PDF)
- Directional sign - Hand washing station down English (PDF) Spanish (PDF)
- How to be Safe Around Animals English (PDF)
- Washing Hands When Leaving Animal Exhibits English (PDF) Spanish (PDF)
- Zoonotic Disease Rules and Guidelines
- Zoonotic Disease Prevention Toolkit for Fairs (PDF)
- Animals in Public Settings Toolkit, NASPHV
- Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, NASPHV (PDF)
- Stay Healthy at Animal Exhibits This Summer, CDC
- Issues for Fair Organizers to Consider When Planning Fairs, CDC
|Content Source: Zoonotic Disease Program|