I just got home from the Northern Lights Lantern Festival, where there was a petting zoo. With just one horse trailer to transport all the animals on a hot day like today, it must have been an inferno in there on the drive over from the farm. A too small enclosure was set up in the full sun. With no shade and no way to escape the heat, the animals were crowded in with no free access to water. The piglet was clearly in distress, open mouthed, panting and drooling and hot to the touch. All the animals were being chased by toddlers, but the pig seemed to be a favourite target for little boys. One after the other. All day. Some of the kids were rough with the animals. It was disturbing.
If your kid has never seen a pony, or a pig or a goat, then take your kid to the farm - Petting zoos are cruel. They subject animals to the stress of transport, alien environments, irregular feeding and watering, mishandling, and crowds of strangers. They should just be banned. Next year, maybe there could be a spray pad set up for the children, or a yurt with crafts and children's entertainment. It would be better for the kids and I doubt they would miss the petting zoo. BAN the petting zoo, please. —Pissed off at Heavy Petting