Feds Say ‘No’ to Big-Cat Abuser’s Request for New Exhibitor’s License

Longtime PETA Target Lance Ramos' Sordid History of Violations—Including Training a Lion to the Point of Death—Proves to Be His Undoing

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Balm, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) permanently revoked notorious big-cat exhibitor Lance Ramos’ exhibitor’s license in April 2009 after charging him with a number of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations, including physically abusing big cats during training to the point that at least one lion died. And although the AWA makes it clear that license revocation is permanent, Ramos still tried to obtain a new exhibitor’s license from the USDA. In a finding just made public yesterday, an administrative law judge has upheld the USDA’s decision to reject Ramos’ attempt to obtain a new exhibitor’s license.

“Ramos’ profit-driven animal menagerie meant nothing but misery for the cooped-up cats who were denied everything that’s natural and important to them,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “The USDA has done the right thing by telling a man whose career was built on animal abuse that the party’s over.”

PETA caught Ramos in the act of illegally exhibiting at a Shrine circus in Texas in October 2012 and alerted the USDA. But Ramos illegally exhibited again at the Showfolks of Sarasota circus two months later. PETA again alerted the USDA, and the agency is currently investigating Ramos. In 2013, the USDA charged him with a number of AWA violations, including failing to give veterinary care and adequate nutrition to a 22-year-old emaciated elephant named Ned, whom the USDA confiscated in 2008 and sent to a sanctuary, where he died six months later.

Last year, a PETA complaint led the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to cite Ramos for unlawfully housing tigers on his property.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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