Feds Order Roadside Zoo to Hand Over Primates by April 15, Following Numerous Animal-Welfare Violations
For Immediate Release:
January 13, 2016
David Perle 202-483-7382
Maiden, N.C. – Following dozens of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), notorious roadside zoo Buffalo Beals has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to relinquish all primates by April 15 of this year. For years, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has called for the animals’ release, including after hearing reports that in 2014, a rhesus macaque was allowed to leave his enclosure and bite a 3-year-old child as well as that primates languished in filthy, squalid enclosures filled with their own waste. Other reports that led to the consent decision indicate that numerous primates—who, like humans, are highly social beings—were forced to live in solitary confinement without adequate enrichment.
The USDA will also suspend Buffalo Beals’ exhibitor license for one month, after which the facility will remain on probation for one year. During the probationary period, any additional failure to comply with animal-welfare regulations could result in a $5,000 fine per violation.
“The litany of violations found at Buffalo Beals says it all: It’s long past time for these highly intelligent, sensitive animals to get the reprieve they deserve,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “Until this hellhole has been shut down for good, PETA will continue to fight for all animals still imprisoned at the roadside zoo.”
Buffalo Beals has racked up more than 100 AWA violations since 2009, including those mentioned in a 2010 PETA complaint that led to citations for, among other violations, allowing the public to have dangerous direct contact with approximately 50 animals, allowing animals’ waste to build up in the enclosures, and failing to provide seven primates—who were kept in harmful solitary confinement—with adequate psychological enrichment, which led a baboon to develop neurotic behavior such as head-tossing and circling. In 2013, solitary chimpanzee JR was rescued from the facility and now lives in an appropriate habitat at the Save the Chimps sanctuary in Florida.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.