Feds File Formal Complaint Over Dozens of Camel Farm Citations

Roadside Zoo Accused of Denying Needed Veterinary Care to Suffering Animals

For Immediate Release:
August 13, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Yuma, Ariz. – PETA has just learned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed an Animal Welfare Act (AWA) complaint against The Camel Farm, initiating enforcement action against the exhibitor for nearly 50 alleged violations of the federal AWA between August 2015 and January 2020. The government cited the facility for failing to provide the following sick or injured animals, among others, with adequate—and, in some cases, any—veterinary care:

  • Cody, a coatimundi who had been limping for months, and Shyla, another coatimundi whose left eye was swollen and protruding from the socket—the USDA inspector described Shyla’s eye as “an extremely reddened mass of tissue [with] a dark crusty scab on approximately one third of the surface area” and noted that “[f]luid appeared to be leaking out of the eye onto her face.” Instead of contacting a veterinarian as her condition deteriorated, The Camel Farm’s manager just popped the eye back in. Shyla was eventually euthanized.
  • An ibex hybrid who had a mass above his right eye that was “red, inflamed, and bulging out of his eye socket”
  • A goat named Thor who had been lame for over a year and hadn’t been medically treated, even though the facility had been cited for failing to provide him with proper veterinary care seven times
  • Pixie, an ibex who was found dead two weeks after a veterinarian recommended that she be euthanized

“PETA knows that The Camel Farm has blatantly ignored the health and well-being of the animals at its facility for years and is pleased that the government is finally doing something about it,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA urges everyone to stay away from this disgraceful operation and any others that put suffering animals on display.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—filed a lawsuit challenging the USDA’s automatic renewal of AWA licenses, including The Camel Farm’s. The act prohibits licensing a facility that can’t demonstrate that it’s operating in accordance with it—and The Camel Farm has been cited for more than 90 violations of the AWA in the past seven 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