Following a plea from the PETA Foundation’s Captive Animal Law Enforcement (CALE) Division, Ohio officials have finally seized the wild animals whom animal abuser Kenny Hetrick has long neglected while holding them in defiance of state law. Hetrick’s Tiger Ridge Exotics exemplifies all that is wrong with collecting wild animals and jamming them into ramshackle backyard cages. CALE has now appealed to Hetrick to drop his appeal of the seizure and allow the animals to enjoy a peaceful life at a reputable sanctuary where their needs would come first.
In other CALE news:
- The Carson & Barnes Circus has a long and notorious history of abusing elephants, and its most recent citations show that it has no intention of changing its ways. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has again cited the circus for failing to provide an elephant named Nina with adequate veterinary care. Nina—whom a Carson & Barnes worker was caught beating on video while touring with another circus in 2011—has lost 500 pounds in the last several months alone. And poor Katie the hippo—who was found dead in November—was losing weight rapidly, but the circus had no records showing that she was ever given her prescribed treatment.
- Get this: Even though the USDA is supposed to enforce federal animal-protection laws, the agency has proposed a new “strategic” plan to “collaborate” with the very entities that it’s supposed to be regulating—including calling outfits like the Carson & Barnes Circus “customers”! CALE has sent an urgent letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking that this absurd plan be scrapped and asking for his assurances that the Animal Welfare Act will be properly enforced.
- Records recently obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that following CALE’s request to deny a license to the disreputable Austin Aquarium, the USDA denied the aquarium—owned by the notorious Covino brothers—a license to display regulated animals. In 2013, Ammon Covino pleaded guilty in federal court to violating of the Lacey Act, which prohibits illegal trafficking in wildlife. The agency cited the violation, which CALE had brought to its attention, when it denied the application.
- Magician and tiger exploiter Dirk Arthur is up to his old tricks, having been cited yet again for violating the Animal Welfare Act after two enclosures that house tigers were found with chewed and splintering edges. CALE has renewed its call to the Riviera to pull the plug on this cruel show once and for all.
CALE has lots more in the works. Keep checking back for the latest.