To the Editor:
The decision to add a petting zoo to this year’s St. Henry Carnival was a bad one! As I walked past the event on 28th Street, the first thing that caught my attention were the two miniature ponies huddled in a corner against a fence, attempting to find some relief from the sweltering sun. Then I noticed a llama confined in an enclosed steel trailer parked on Avenue C, with outside temperatures approaching 100 degrees!
These animals are stressed from transport, confinement, alien environments, irregular feeding and watering, mishandling, and crowds of strangers. Petting zoos are also hotbeds of serious pathogens, including E. coli, ringworm, and salmonella bacteria. There have been countless incidents of injuries, disease, and even death to both the animals and the people who go to see them.
Surely St. Henry Parish can raise funds without contributing to animal cruelty and putting our children’s health and welfare at risk.