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USGE Conditions Reflect ‘Industry Standards’

Written by PETA | January 8, 2010

In his historic decision earlier this week, Arlington municipal judge Michael Smith noted that the evidence that our undercover investigator collected during months as an employee of the exotic animal warehouse U.S. Global Exotics (USGE)—including a picture of a hedgehog whose leg had been chewed off and video footage of dying snakes and a wallaby who had been left to perish in a filthy, windowless room—depicted conditions that are not unique and that even reflect the entire industry’s standards:

Evidence was received which indicated that this facility was operated in accordance with industry standards of the exotic animal trade. While this may be true, this Court is not free to substitute those standards for the standards set by Texas statutes.


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Think about that for a minute or two. USGE was a model animal dealer for the pet trade and, as Fort Worth Zoo employee Mike Doss testified, a facility by which others could be judged.

PETA’s evidence was vital to Judge Smith’s ruling to divest Jasen and Vanessa Shaw—owners and operators of USGE, which supplies pet stores and pet store chains all over the world, including suppliers of PETCO and PetSmart—of the more than 26,000 animals who were seized from USGE on December 15. Since the ruling, the media has remained abuzz with outrage over the widespread, “standard” abuse of animals in the pet trade industry.

This isn’t the first time we have gone undercover behind the tightly shut doors of the pet trade. Our investigation of Rainbow World Exotics revealed similar conditions. Unfortunately, that investigation didn’t make an ounce of difference to the multimillion dollar pet-supply companies, which both refused to sever ties with Rainbow and continue to buy animals there to this day. It just goes to show that the only “standards” the industry has are the ones that have to do with profit, not animal welfare.

We’re urging PetSmart shareholders to support our resolution to ban the purchase of animals from all distributors that are under investigation for violations of the law. Not much to ask, is it? Until everyone shuns pet stores and tells everyone they know to do the same, hellholes like USGE will continue to operate.

Written by Logan Scherer

Commenting is closed.
  • Jenny Delaney says:

    What can we do besides bitch about this? Where do these people live? Lets not let this sadistic behavior be a reasonable option for these bastards…I say there needs to be some real fear put in to their hearts same kind of fear they imposed on these animals

  • Sophia says:

    FTF! How is it kept legal?!? Is it legal in US? And this country is dictating the moral to the rest of the world?

  • Mary Roman says:


  • Deborah says:

    What really gets me is the heartless indifference to the needs and suffering of these animals. Empathy is totally lacking in these people which is very scary. I wouldnt want them living near me.

  • JOY says:

    I have never witnessed a dying snake I hope to never again. I have learned also that there is a turn of events for those who intentionally admitted nor not abuse defenseless life. I am satisfied to know these two animals will now answer to a higher court.

  • Saucy says:

    Michael Smith you will be judged by a HIGHER AUTHORITY a more ENLIGHTENED AUTHORIY an AUTHORITY that has the power to make you suffer endlessly. Shame on you. You were in a perfect position to use your dominion for good and alleviate suffering for thousands of animals and CRUSH THE GREEDY. You chose to do the wrong thing. You are a COMPLETE $UCKING MORON. CFM I hope you get disbarred.

  • Salali says:

    I work at a fish and reptile store where thousands of beautiful beings have had all controll of their lives taken away. Feeding has to be done while the boss is away as we are told off if he sees us waste of time apparently snakes spend their lives in horribly cramped quarters where they don’t even have room to stretch. Reptileeating snakes are fed an allmammal diet. Disease is rampant amongst the massively overcrowded fish. Some tanks are permanently infected but are constantly restocked with fish any that die can be written off on tax in australia anyway. There are tanks full of fish meant to be fed live to others many people buy fish too big to fit in the mouths of their pets so that it takes longer for them to be eaten. Brooding mothers have their babys forcibly removed from their mouths and “fedoff” in front of them. noctunal animals have their hides removed so they must sit in the bright light in full view. I was once instructed to feed rotten purple swollen stinking dead baby rats to some of the lizards i refused. Spoiled food is fed rather than thrown away and i have been abused for not eating the flesh of another animal gotta support the farmers It is a hard job.

  • Marnie says:

    It has to be forbitten! Everybody who lets an animal suffer had to pay a fine. But now cows and pigs come into my mind How do they get treated? I’m tossin’ my cookies it takes time to change so much that needs to be changed!

  • Minttu jensen says:

    hah..this is totally crazy persons…sick bastards who do this…totally not humans.. Psycopaths werry twisted bastards!

  • Stella says:

    There is a special place in hell for the animal abuser.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Businesses public officials and others who have no empathy for animals do not deserve to be called human.

  • Bob Weaver says:

    This is an outrage !