Animal Exhibitor for ‘The Butler,’ ’12 Years a Slave’ Facing Federal Agency Charges

PETA, Primate Expert Want New Orleans Teamsters to Nix Sidney Yost

For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2014

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Notorious animal exhibitor Sidney Yost—who does business as Amazing Animal Productions and has supplied animals for 12 Years a Slave and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, among other movies—has a deplorable reputation in the entertainment industry for abusing and even beating animals, as was revealed in The Hollywood Reporter article “Why Does Hollywood Continue to Hire Sid Yost?” But despite Yost’s reputation, New Orleans’ Teamsters Local 270 has reportedly appointed him its “animal steward,” which puts him in the position of overseeing the use of animals in film in New Orleans, causing PETA and a renowned primatologist to call on the Teamsters today to remove Yost from the leadership position.

“Nobody who is under investigation for allegedly beating animals should be allowed to work with them, let alone have any say in which exhibitors are hired for productions,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the Teamsters to rescind Yost’s appointment before ‘Hollywood South’ becomes synonymous with cruelty to animals.”

As PETA points out in its letter, Yost currently faces official charges filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for at least 44 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including for hitting a capuchin monkey, a lion, and tigers with a stick referred to as a “pig stick,” and the USDA also claims that Yost’s associates used physical abuse to handle wolves and wolf hybrids. Yost agreed to relinquish custody of four chimpanzees and cease working with great apes to settle a lawsuit concerning his alleged abuse of chimpanzees in his care in 2002 and 2003. He disputes the allegations.

PETA has also alerted the USDA to Yost’s apparent failure to seek a new federal exhibitor license since relocating his business from California to Louisiana, as required by federal law.

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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