Chimpanzee Abuser Warned After PETA Files Complaint

USDA Action Follows Mike Casey’s Arrest in Florida for Unlawful Possession of Wildlife

For Immediate Release:
October 31, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Weeki Wachee, Fla. & Pahrump, Nev. – Following PETA’s formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding wildlife exhibitor Mike Casey’s transporting three chimpanzees with the intent to sell them without a USDA permit to do so, the USDA issued Casey an official warning for violating federal law and threatened criminal prosecution for any further violations. Casey, who has a long history of chimpanzee abuse and neglect and disregard for public safety, was arrested by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in Brooksville on July 10 and charged with four violations, including unlawful possession of wildlife without a license and unlawful transport of wildlife. He was fined and sentenced to six months of probation.

“Mike Casey has a long history of physically abusing chimpanzees, and he has also flouted state and federal laws by peddling these highly intelligent and sensitive animals,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “If Casey continues to break the law, he could—and should—face criminal charges.”

Casey’s reported physical abuse of chimpanzees includes kicking and punching them, striking them with wooden rods, and dousing them with hot water. The USDA has repeatedly cited him for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including for housing chimpanzees in insecure and decrepit enclosures, even forcing them to live amid their own excrement for long periods of time.

Following his arrest in Florida, Casey—who had kept chimpanzees at his home in Nye County, Nev., until county authorities denied him a permit to keep them—admitted that he intended to sell the chimpanzees to Ann Kelly, owner and operator of Hernando Primate, Inc., the roadside facility where the animals now live. Kelly allegedly told FWC officials that the intended sale price for the three chimpanzees was $50,000.

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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