This document provides guidelines and standardized procedures for minimizing risk associated with animals on campus. Human contact with live animals at petting zoos creates the potential for disease transmission such as E coli and other zoonotic diseases so risk should be minimized. Risk of transmission can be reduced by (i) avoiding direct contact with animals or surfaces in which animals have had contact and (ii) allowing only supervised contact with animals followed by hand washing.
Generally, only non-dangerous, mature domestic animals with the required documentation are allowed. Inherently dangerous or wild animals as defined in Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 27-5-5, shall not be permitted in any animal exhibit or petting zoo on campus. However, rare exceptions may be made, subject to providing documentation required by the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 27-5-5 and receiving approval by the Georgia Tech Director of Insurance.
Owners and/or providers of animals to be exhibited and/or part of a petting zoo must provide:
- Documented proof that all animals have had their required shots including but not limited to vaccinations, such shots are up to date, and the animals are free of rabies.
- Evidence of liability insurance coverage with limits of at least $1,000,000 per occurrence with an insurance company with at least an A- / VII rating by A.M. Best Company must be provided by the owner and/or provider of the animals. Georgia Tech, its officers and employees must be named as additional insureds on the liability insurance policy.
- A Certificate of Insurance, evidencing the required coverage must be submitted to
Georgia Tech Insurance & Claims Management, 711 Marietta St., N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30332-0300, prior to the date of the event.
- During public exhibition, any animal which may have physical contact with the public must be handled so there is minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public. The owner and/or provider must ensure that there is sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animal and the general viewing public so as to assure the safety of both.
- An appropriate number of adequately trained employees shall be utilized to maintain the exhibit. A responsible, knowledgeable and readily-identifiable employee or attendant must be present at all times during the public exhibition.
- Animals in exhibit shall be kept in appropriate cages or behind appropriate fencing with the trained animal handlers present at all times to manage appropriate human-animal interaction.
- Access to the animal areas should be clearly defined and controlled (barriers, fencing, signage, etc.) from non-animal areas.
- No smoking, food or beverage shall be allowed in the animal area. Signage stating such prohibition shall be clearly posted throughout the exhibit and at the entrance.
- If public feeding of the animals is permitted, the food must be provided by the animal facility/owner and shall be appropriate for the type of animal and its nutritional needs and diet.
- Adequate potable water for the animals shall be available on the premises.
- Manure and soiled animal bedding shall be removed promptly. Animal waste and waste removal tools must be confined to areas restricted from public access.
- The provider of the animals shall be required to haul off the animal waste from campus in their own containers.
- The Exhibitor will be required to pay a cleaning fee to the Georgia Tech Facilities Dept. to sanitize the animal exhibit area after the event. Please contact the Georgia Tech Facilities Dept. at 404-894-3969 for details.
- To reduce the chance of disease transmission, hand washing stations sufficient to accommodate the maximum anticipated attendance must be provided. The stations will include the appropriate number of anti-bacterial liquid soap dispensers and a water source or anti-bacterial hand-wipes. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers [or anti-bacterial hand wipes] may be provided but this is a less preferable option. Signage which clearly explains the safety reasons for hand washing shall be clearly posted near the hand washing stations and near the exit.
- In case of an animal bite, or other emergency, campus police should be contacted at: (404-894-2500).
*Sources: University of Texas EHS Animal Exhibit Policy, National Assoc. of State Public Health Veterinarians-Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2011, Iowa State University Petting Zoo Policy.