For Immediate Release:
February 9, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Chatfield, Minn. – PETA has just learned that Dan Moulton of Moulton Chinchilla Ranch (MCR)—where PETA’s undercover investigation revealed that animals were denied veterinary care for abscesses, pus-filled eyes, exposed bones, severe matting, and other painful injuries—has “gotten rid of” all the chinchillas and is “no longer raising them.” The chinchillas, who were being bred for sale to laboratories and the pet trade, have been moved to an undisclosed location and are no longer in Moulton’s custody. An e-mail sent to PETA from a tipster, in which Moulton verifies that he no longer has any chinchillas, is available here.
“These chinchillas are out of Dan Moulton’s hellhole facility, finally free of filthy wire cages and now receiving veterinary care—and instead of being sold to laboratories or for fur, they have the chance to find the homes they always deserved,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA is determined that Moulton face cruelty charges and a lifetime ban on possessing animals.”
PETA is now heightening its focus on state prosecutors due to the case’s lack of movement. Even though authorities seized 10 suffering chinchillas from MCR in January 2021 as a result of their obvious neglect—a humane agent noted that “[t]he evidence suggests that Daniel Moulton failed and/or was unwilling to provide [chinchillas] with adequate and consistent veterinary treatment that meets the minimum standard required by state law”—the case has bounced back and forth between Fillmore County (where, PETA discovered, both the county prosecutor and the sheriff were friends with Moulton on social media) and Rice County, with no charges filed against Moulton to date.
Meanwhile, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) judge declared Moulton “unfit” to hold a USDA license over an “astounding” record of federal animal welfare violations. But a lack of a USDA license would only prohibit him from operating as a wholesale dealer to laboratories or the pet trade, and he is apparently appealing that decision, even though the USDA has cited him again for knowingly denying veterinary care to suffering chinchillas. Only a prosecution under the state’s anti-cruelty statute can ensure that Moulton never again possesses chinchillas.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.