13 Citations and Leopard Attack Are Reasons to Revoke Wildlife Exhibitor’s License, PETA Urges Feds

For Immediate Release:
September 7, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Oroville, Calif.

In light of the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation’s mounting animal welfare and workplace safety violations—including 13 citations for failing to meet the minimum requirements of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) over the past 20 months alone—PETA fired off a letter this morning calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to revoke the sleazy roadside zoo’s license.

The USDA’s most recent citations expose Kirshner for failing to keep animals cool when temperatures had reached 100 degrees, leaving damaged den boxes that could injure or entrap animals in enclosures, and allowing members of the public to hold a large and dangerous snow leopard during a visit to a juvenile detention facility. A PETA tip about that incident also led to a citation from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), its second in just over a year. Cal/OSHA also slapped Kirshner with a citation and a $1,800 penalty after a worker entered a leopard enclosure and was attacked by the animal, resulting in puncture wounds that required hospitalization.

“With a sordid history that includes everything from veterinary care failures to a bloodied worker, the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Foundation is a danger to animals, staff, and the entire community,” says PETA Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on the USDA to revoke this sleazy roadside zoo’s license before anyone else gets hurt.”

Among other violations that resulted in USDA citations, Kirshner failed to communicate animal health problems to the attending veterinarian—including hair loss on a coati’s tail and continuous pacing by a wolf, a sign of psychological distress. After PETA submitted a complaint about the leopard attack, the USDA also cited the facility for housing the leopard in an enclosure without a lockout and for keeping animals in an enclosure with a dirty water container and dried-out food. The agency later issued Kirshner an official warning for not having a sufficient number of adequately trained employees.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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