Investigation of Law-Breaking Roadside Zoo Sought

Stump Hill Farm Puts Animals and the Public at Risk, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
April 30, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Massillon, Ohio – Despite regulations requiring facilities housing dangerous wild animals to have the necessary permits, Cyndi Huntsman—who operates a notorious roadside zoo in Massillon called Stump Hill Farm—has failed to obtain required permits for dozens of animals at her facility, such as tigers, bears, and primates, including a chimpanzee. So today, PETA asked the Ohio Department of Agriculture to investigate for violations of state law.

Stump Hill Farm has a long history of failing to meet even minimal federal requirements for housing and caring for animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited it for a host of serious violations, including keeping tigers and leopards in ramshackle cages and putting animals at risk of escaping by having an insecure perimeter fence, which included a 12-inch hole, around the facility. The agency has also cited Huntsman for illegally declawing a tiger and for jamming tigers in cages so small that the animals couldn’t move freely.

“Stump Hill Farm has been cited again and again for keeping animals in dilapidated and insecure cages,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “officials must take decisive action to enforce the laws meant to protect public safety.”

Ohio’s new dangerous-animal regulations went into effect in January, more than two years after law-enforcement officers were forced to kill 48 wild animals who had been released by Zanesville resident Terry Thompson before he killed himself. Huntsman was one of a group of plaintiffs who filed a complaint in federal court challenging the new laws. The challenge was later dismissed.PETA has also learned that the plaintiffs’ request for a new hearing was denied.

To see PETA’s letter to the Ohio Department of Agriculture and for more information, please visit PETA’s blog.

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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