Egregious Animal-Welfare Violations Continue at Summer Wind Farms

Notorious Roadside Zoo at the Center of PETA Lawsuit Cited for Caging Tiger in Basement, Bloody Food-Prep Area, and More

For Immediate Release:
March 21, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Brown City, Mich.Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary—a roadside zoo that PETA has tracked for years—has, yet again, been slapped with even more citations for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) February 23 inspection report, which just became publically available, a 25-week-old tiger was locked in a cramped cage in the basement of a house on Summer Wind’s property and was also denied adequate veterinary care. The facility overall was filthy and filled with debris: the meat cooler reeked of rotten and decaying meat, and a food-preparation area was covered with blood, among other issues. The USDA further warned that the “amount of animal husbandry issues at the facility” indicates “a lack of adequately trained employees,” which “can result in facility and animal conditions that result in unnecessary animal suffering.”

These citations come on the heels of January’s formal complaint by the USDA alleging nearly 90 willful violations of the AWA documented at Summer Wind Farms between November 2012 and October 2015—the first step in a disciplinary process that could result in license suspension or revocation.

“Neglected animals, filthy facilities, and clueless volunteer staff are the norm at Summer Wind Farms,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “This squalid facility either can’t or won’t properly care for exotic animals, and PETA is calling for it to be stripped of its exhibitor’s license and shut down for good.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has filed a lawsuit against the USDA for rubber-stamping renewal licenses of law-violating facilities like Summer Wind Farms. Last year’s dozens of AWA violations at the roadside zoo included, among many other issues, keeping animals in small and filthy enclosures as well as denying animals clean water to drink and adequate veterinary care—but Summer Wind Farms still had its license renewed automatically on December 31.

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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