Commission to Notorious Chimpanzee Exhibitor: Remove Animals From Nye County

After PETA Appeal, Nye County Authorities Unanimously Deny Mike Casey a Permit to Keep Dangerous Exotic Animals

For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2013

Kaitlynn Kelly 202-483-7382

Pahrump, Nev. — Documented animal abuser Mike Casey’s reported physical abuse of chimpanzees includes kicking and punching them, striking them with wooden rods, and dousing them with hot water. Last year, Clark County gave Casey the boot—and last night, the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission (RPC) made it clear that he is not welcome in Nye County, either. Soon after the county revoked a permit from unlicensed big-cat exhibitor Karl Mitchell, the RPC voted unanimously to deny Casey a permit to keep four chimpanzees in Pahrump. As PETA explained in detailed correspondence to the RPC, Casey has a record of abusing exotic animals, ignoring the law, and endangering his neighbors. And as PETA explained at the May 15 and June 12 hearings on Casey’s permit application, he, like Mitchell, does not meet the legal criteria to keep dangerous wild animals.

“Nye County has made a wise decision for public safety and animal welfare by denying Mike Casey’s permit application,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “According to eyewitness testimony and U.S. Department of Agriculture records, this man has beaten chimpanzees, deprived them of essential care, and put his neighbors at risk, which is why PETA is urging every jurisdiction to prevent him from setting up his abusive business within their borders.”

In addition to his documented physical abuse of chimpanzees, Casey has also confined chimpanzees to unsanitary and squalid conditions and deprived them of adequate enrichment, according to public records. Under a rule proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday to enhance protections for captive chimpanzees, such actions would violate the Endangered Species Act’s prohibitions on harming and harassing protected species. Chimpanzees who have been abused and denied everything that is natural and important to them have been known to lash out, placing nearby residents at risk. Casey bred and sold two chimpanzees, Travis and Timmy, who were killed after attacking humans in separate high-profile incidents, and his own face was disfigured in a similar attack. Several chimpanzees have escaped from his properties over the years.

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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