Feds Pull Tiger Exhibitor’s License, Levy Nearly $65,000 Penalty

PETA Alerts USDA to Unlicensed Doug Terranova’s Recent Circus Performances

For Immediate Release:
September 10, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Kaufman, Texas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) permanently revoked the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license of Doug Terranova, a Kaufman-based animal exhibitor, on August 30 and ordered him and his company to pay a total of $64,700 in civil penalties. Among the willful violations that Terranova—whom PETA has complained to the USDA about for years—was found to have committed was an April 2013 incident in which a woman came face to face with a tiger in a public bathroom after the animal escaped from trainers at a Shrine circus in Kansas.

Because Terranova continued to exhibit tigers with Carden International Circus through September 1 in Cedar Creek, PETA sent a letter this morning urging the USDA to investigate him and hold him accountable for apparently exhibiting the animals without a license—a violation of federal law that can merit criminal charges.

“Doug Terranova’s years of allowing animals to escape and willfully evading federal inspectors have finally caught up with him,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “With Terranova out of business, there are now only nine licensed exhibitors in the U.S. who force lions and tigers to perform in archaic circus shows—and PETA will keep working until that number is down to zero.”

In 2012, the USDA fined Terranova $25,000 for violating the AWA, ordered him to cease and desist committing further violations of the act, and barred him from possessing elephants. In 2016, an administrative law judge suspended his license for 30 days and assessed penalties of $21,500 for AWA violations and failing to obey the cease and desist order—sanctions that, following a government appeal, a USDA judicial officer has now concluded were too lax. In the decision to revoke Terranova’s license, the officer wrote, “Although this sanction may seem relatively severe, Respondents’ continued failures to abide by the Regulations and Standards, to the detriment of animal health and safety to the public, shows that Respondents are not qualified to be licensed.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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