Feds Slap Summer Wind Farms With Even More Repeat Animal-Welfare Violations

Notorious Roadside Zoo at the Center of PETA Lawsuit Cited for Inadequate Veterinary Care, Filthy Enclosures, and More

For Immediate Release:
December 16, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Brown City, Mich. – The most recent federal inspection of the notorious Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary—a roadside zoo that PETA has tracked for years—has found, yet again, unsanitary enclosures and a lack of adequate veterinary care at the Brown City facility. These latest repeat violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) bring this year’s total to 49 citations.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) November 18 inspection report, which just became publicly available, no one at the facility had noticed that a cougar named Mattie had several crusty skin lesions, which resembled lesions on tigers who were being treated for a ringworm infection—a highly contagious condition that’s transmissible to humans. Enclosures housing bears were littered with feces and rotting food, which had attracted rats—an issue throughout the premises, which was littered with debris and rodent holes—and one enclosure contained a dirty pool filled with stagnant green water and algae.

“Yet again, Summer Wind Farms has been caught leaving animals to suffer in squalid enclosures and failing to comply with even the most minimal animal welfare standards,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “As PETA has said for years, this deplorable hellhole must be shut down and the animals retired to reputable sanctuaries.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has filed a lawsuit against the USDA for renewing Summer Wind Farms’ exhibitor’s license despite extensive and repeated AWA violations. Last year, the facility racked up 98 AWA violations—including, among many other issues, not having enough staff, keeping animals in filthy enclosures, and denying animals clean water to drink and adequate veterinary care—but still had its license renewed automatically on December 31.

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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