Feds Find Severe Neglect, Suffering at Local Chinchilla-Breeding Operation

Sick Animals Denied Veterinary Care, Many More Kept in Filthy Cages; PETA Asks Public Never to Buy Animals or Shop at Pet Stores That Sell Them

For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Ripley Township, Ohio – Newly published U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports of local breeding mill Ryerson Chinchilla Ranch reveal horrific conditions and neglect, including that several chinchillas’ eyes were painfully “matted shut” and one chinchilla was found dead in a cage.

Federal inspectors documented two chinchillas whose eyes were so severely crusted or swollen shut that they could not be opened as well as four chinchillas whose eyes were sealed with white discharge and one whose eyes were still swollen after an attack by a stressed cagemate six weeks earlier. One chinchilla’s severely overgrown incisor interfered with the animal’s ability to eat. Many of the cages—to which 1,750 chinchillas were confined around the clock indefinitely—contained feces and urine-soaked bedding. The overwhelming smell of ammonia from the animals’ accumulated waste irritated the inspectors’ eyes and throats after just two hours there.

“Sensitive, fragile chinchillas were left to languish in filth and pain in this hellhole,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Because of suffering like this, PETA is urging people always to adopt animals from shelters and rescue groups and never buy them from pet stores, which sell animals who were bred and born at mills like this one.”

In light of the findings, PETA has asked City of Norwalk Law Director G. Stuart O’Hara Jr. to investigate the breeding mill and, as appropriate, file criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against those responsible for severely neglecting the chinchillas. The group’s letter is available upon request.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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Media Response Team.


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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