For Immediate Release:
November 26, 2013
David Perle 202-483-7382
Cherokee/Asheville, N.C. – After more than a year without a response to PETA’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failure to respond to the group’s petition calling for better protection for bears suffering in roadside zoos across the country, and just weeks after PETA filed a lawsuit to compel the agency to move on the matter, the USDA has now published notice of the petition in the Federal Register and is soliciting comments on it. This allows the public to weigh in on whether bears should be under the protection of species-specific guidelines, such as the need for opportunities to forage for food, private areas for winter denning, and large, woodland-like habitats with pools to swim in.
“This is a good step toward protecting the hundreds—if not thousands—of bears languishing in concrete pits, barren cages, and other substandard conditions in USDA-regulated facilities across the country,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA is encouraging other animal-protection groups, bear experts, and anyone else who cares about animals to visit the USDA’s website and submit comments in support of bear-specific standards.”
PETA’s original 65-page petition is available here.