Court Orders Chronic Abuser to Lose the Cats

Published by Jennifer O'Connor.

Big-cat abuser Karl Mitchell, who has been operating illegally for more than a decade, has been ordered to remove all the big cats he has been keeping in Nye County, Nevada. The court decision specified that the removal be undertaken “immediately.”

The operator of an appalling tiger tourist trap called Big Cat Encounters, Mitchell had been repeatedly cited over the years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a wide range of atrocious Animal Welfare Act violations, including cruelly withholding water as a training technique and failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, adequate living conditions, and palatable food and water.

Mitchell had so many egregious animal welfare violations that his USDA exhibitor’s license was permanently revoked in 2001. But he flagrantly ignored the law, continuing to exhibit animals illegally, and was issued no fewer than three cease-and-desist orders and ultimately assessed fines exceeding $100,000.

PETA filed numerous complaints with Nye County officials, who subsequently revoked Mitchell’s conditional-use permit to house tigers—yet another decision that he simply ignored, ultimately resulting in the most recent court order.

What You Can Do

Although Mitchell is a particularly flagrant and disgraceful example of the low ethical standards of his industry, misery is inescapable for all animals who are imprisoned just so that they can provide a momentary diversion instead of living their natural lives in freedom. Please never patronize any captive-animal acts.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind