According to WGME, washing your hands before and after visiting with animals at fairs helps to keep both you and the animals healthy.

There are many wonderful agricultural fairs around Maine that help connect us with the farming lifestyle. It's important to practice good hygiene to keep both people and animals safe and healthy. At the Ossipee Valley Fair they had 11 hand washing stations throughout the fairground and signs were posted reminding fair goers to be clean and sanitary.

I've wondered why I see so many oxen and other animals getting baths when I visit fairs. I just assumed they were competing for a ribbon. But it's more than that, animals get all sorts of matter on them and farmers are very careful to present an animal as clean as can be to the public. But there's only so much they can do. It's up to you to wash your hands after petting animals or being around their pens and cages. It's super important to be on top of keeping little hands clean as well. I carry antibacterial wipes with me everywhere that I go, but especially to the fair. I love goats and those chickens that look like they are wearing fur leg warmers. but I also enjoy eating fried dough with my hands!

E. Coli and other diseases are a concern, but their transmission can be prevented by being fastidious about hand washing.

Animals can also contract illnesses from humans, so wash your hands before, as well as after touching them! Take advantage of hand washing stations and bathroom sinks as well as antibacterial wipes to make sure that your visit is a happy, healthy one.