Facing PETA Lawsuit, Feds Finally Mobilize Against Mooresville Roadside Zoo

USDA Files Administrative Complaint Against Lazy 5 Ranch Exhibitor Henry Hampton Over Numerous Animal-Welfare Violations

For Immediate Release:
October 11, 2018

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Mooresville, N.C. – PETA has learned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an administrative complaint against notorious animal exhibitor Henry Hampton for more than 70 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) during a four-year period at his two facilities, Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville and The Farm at Walnut Creek in Sugarcreek, Ohio. The action comes after PETA filed a lawsuit against the USDA in May challenging the agency’s automatic renewal of Hampton’s AWA license despite his long list of violations of the act.

“Again and again, Henry Hampton has denied sick animals veterinary care and left them to suffer without help, and his mile-long rap sheet of animal-welfare issues reflects that,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA thanks authorities for finally taking action to hold Hampton accountable for years of Animal Welfare Act violations and is calling on kind people to stay far away from his abusive operations.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that Lazy 5 Ranch was cited for 18 violations of the AWA in 2017 alone, including for failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care. Hampton has also been cited repeatedly over the years for allowing dangerous unsupervised public contact with animals and authorizing the use of a tranquilizing drug that has no pain-relieving properties and can cause distress, paralyze respiratory muscles, and impede animals’ breathing, causing them to die of suffocation while fully conscious but immobilized.

Violations at Lazy 5 Ranch that were identified in the USDA’s complaint include failing to provide the following animals with adequate veterinary care: a pregnant camel who had enlarged blood vessels in her eye, appeared to have difficulty breathing, and had a swollen head and feet; a deer with multiple wounds on the right side; and three limping sheep.

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“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