Feds Urged to Pull the Plug on Bayou Wildlife Park

PETA Says Authorities Can't Legally Renew Notorious Animal Exhibitor's Federal Animal Welfare Act License

For Immediate Release:
December 13, 2018

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Alvin, Texas – This morning, PETA filed a request urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) not to renew the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license for Alvin-based animal exhibitor Bayou Wildlife Park when it expires on December 29.

In the letter, PETA points out that at least 30 animals have died at the facility in the past year—and none of those deaths was reported to the attending veterinarian. The animals who died include a cow whose condition deteriorated for three days until he or she was unable to stand, a sheep who lay without moving for at least two days before dying, a water buffalo who reportedly drowned, and a deer who was partially eaten and who the owner reportedly believes was killed by a bobcat. Twenty other deer also died “suddenly and unexpectedly” over the course of a year, including a newborn fawn who was apparently eaten by vultures.

“No facility that’s unable even to keep animals alive, let alone provide them with the care and quality of life that they deserve, should be propped up by our government,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the USDA not to sign off on 12 more months of animal neglect and endangerment and even more possible deaths at this cruel and careless roadside zoo.”

The AWA prohibits licensing a facility that can’t demonstrate that it’s operating in accordance with the act. This year alone, Bayou Wildlife Park has been cited 19 times for violations of the AWA—all repeat violations. They include failing to provide goats and a deer with proper veterinary care. The goats had overgrown hooves—a serious problem that can lead to foot infections, abscesses, and chronic lameness—and one had a severely deformed udder that was likely the result of painful mastitis that was never properly treated. The deer was limping and had a hoof that appeared to be twisted.

In May, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—sued the USDA over the agency’s decision to renew Bayou Wildlife Park’s AWA license in 2017, a case that’s ongoing.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“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