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PETA Believes Negligence Caused Death of Trainer at Bozeman Exhibitor's Compound
For Immediate Release:November 13, 2012
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
Bozeman, Mont. -- PETA has sent a formal complaint to the
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calling on the agency
to investigate the fatal November 4 bear mauling of a young trainer at
Bozeman-based Animals of Montana, an exhibitor that rents out big cats, bears,
and other animals for photo ops and entertainment venues. According to reports,
24-year-old Benjamin Cloutier died after being mauled by two grizzly bears
owned by his boss, Troy Hyde, while he was cleaning the bear enclosure. One of
the bears was shot to death by an Animals of Montana
trainer who was retrieving Cloutier from the enclosure. Hyde previously
had his Animal Welfare Act exhibitor's license suspended for two years for
illegal trafficking in endangered tigers.
In the letter, PETA points out that Hyde likely violated the
Occupational Safety and Health Act by ignoring obvious, serious risks to those
who work with dangerous animals. PETA also urges OSHA to cite Hyde and assess
him the maximum civil penalties allowed by law for his willful and intentional
violations of the act if he is found to have been negligent.
"Exhibitors like this one deny animals everything
that's natural and important to them, and they can also put human lives at
risk," says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement
Delcianna Winders. "The time has come to stop keeping captive bears as
living props and risking lives in the process."
By law, Hyde is required to furnish employees with a
workplace free from recognized hazards "that are causing, or likely to
cause, death or serious physical harm." Animals of Montana uses a
dangerous and outmoded system of keeping animals called "free
contact." The industry standard, called "protected contact,"
ensures that workers never enter an enclosure with a wild animal. Protected
contact requires that bears be moved from enclosures before workers enter and
that protective barriers be maintained between workers and bears at all times.
OSHA has the authority to investigate and cite Animals of Montana and to order
it to adopt protected contact to prevent any such future tragedies.
information, please visit PETA's
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.