For Immediate Release:
December 20, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Melrose, Fla. – PETA has just reviewed a newly released eight-page penalty notification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealing that the agency has fined local outfit Single Vision $8,850 for 18 alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) from May 2019 to March 2022. The federal fine is the second blow for the beleaguered roadside zoo after Congress’ passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which is likely to become law soon and shutter Single Vision’s cruel big-cat cub-petting program.
Many of the AWA violations that prompted the fine stem from the roadside zoo’s use of wild animals in hands-on public encounters, including an incident PETA flagged for the feds in which a visitor held a juvenile jaguar. Other dangerous interactions involve allowing a child to swim with juvenile lions, a visitor who touched a bear’s muzzle, a bear who reached through enclosure wire to remove someone’s sunglasses, and “rowdy bears” who were “continuously nipping at the public members’ clothing, hands and hair.”
Single Vision received additional citations for the following:
- Providing fraudulent documentation of a veterinary-care program and failing to provide various animals with adequate veterinary care, including a Geoffroy’s cat with hair and eye problems, a limping cougar, an obese jaguar, and two thin, geriatric tigers
- Failing to provide appropriate housing for a hyena who was dangerously living in the home of the Single Vision licensee
- Failing to provide animals with drinkable water and failing to properly maintain numerous decrepit enclosures that posed a danger to the animals inside them
- Lying to and exhibiting “aggressive and threatening behavior” to federal authorities
“USDA penalties like this are issued only to the worst of the worst, and Single Vision’s shocking history of neglecting animals fits that bill,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA asks the public to shun this cruel roadside zoo, which is now paying the price for letting animals suffer.”
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and the group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.