Holmes Farm Manager Convicted of Cruelty to Animals

PETA Documented That Staff Froze Animals Alive at Pet Shop Supplier, Which Remains Under Federal Investigation

For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Gilbertsville, Pa. – Today, following a PETA exposé that resulted in criminal charges related to practices at Holmes Farm, a massive Pennsylvania animal mill, facility manager Clinton “Art” Holmes pleaded guilty to two counts of cruelty to animals. PETA is now urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to revoke Holmes’ license to operate a Berks County hamster-breeding business.

“Nothing can make up for the suffering that Clinton ‘Art’ Holmes caused these animals, but we hope the government will prevent him from abusing any more living beings in the future,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “The pet trade is riddled with cruelty and neglect, which is why PETA urges people never to shop at any store that sells live animals.”

Meanwhile, Holmes Farm remains under federal investigation: In January 2016, the USDA acted on PETA’s findings that animals were frozen alive, stacked in filthy cages, and deprived of adequate food, water, and veterinary care. The agency found at least 117 violations of 14 federal regulations, noting that 36 animals were in need of veterinary care for hair loss, eye abnormalities, and other conditions. The hamster room reeked of ammonia, and personnel told inspectors that they had learned how to kill unwanted animals “on the internet.” Petco, PetSmart, and Pet Supplies Plus dropped the animal mill as a supplier soon after PETA’s exposé. While Holmes Farm’s USDA license was canceled on July 14, 2016, it apparently began operating that same day under the name Livestock Supplies, Inc.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has released seven exposés revealing the abusive conditions endured by animals who are bred for sale at big-box pet store chains.

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