Update: First he was busted by Florida officials. Now after PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, federal authorities have slapped Mike Casey with an official warning for transporting three chimpanzees from Nevada to Florida without a valid Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license. If he’s caught violating the AWA again, Casey could face fines and/or criminal prosecution.
Originally posted August 23, 2013:
It hasn’t been the best summer for notorious chimpanzee exhibitor and abuser James “Mike” Casey. First, PETA helped get him barred from a Nevada county by providing authorities with information about his plans to confine chimpanzees there illegally, torment them, and rent them out for television, movies, ads, and events. And now, authorities in Florida have slapped the cuffs on Casey after catching him in the act of unlawfully trying to unload three chimpanzees at a roadside zoo.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) nabbed Casey on charges of possessing chimpanzees without a permit, not carrying the required insurance, and unlawful and improper transport of wildlife. PETA is also asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate his intended sale of the animals, because it, too, appears to be unlawful since he did not possess the requisite Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license.
Florida authorities have transferred the animals to the so-called “Suncoast Primate Sanctuary” in Palm Harbor, Florida. While certainly better than being in Casey’s charge, where, according to eyewitness testimony and USDA records, they had been punched, kicked, beaten, and scalded with boiling water, Suncoast isn’t the ideal place for these chimpanzees, as the facility is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers and has a history of AWA violations and chimpanzee escapes.
PETA has written to the FWC thanking it for arresting Casey and seizing the chimpanzees and asking it to retire the animals to the permanent home that we have arranged for them at a true sanctuary.