Iowa Fair Tiger Exhibitor Reportedly Caught Mishandling Days-Old Cub

PETA Wants Mississippi Valley Fair to Ban Notorious Animal Welfare Act Violator Joe Schreibvogel

For Immediate Release:
August 7, 2015

Brittany Peet 202-483-7382

Davenport, Iowa

On Wednesday, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector visited the Mississippi Valley Fair and reportedly cited notorious tiger exhibitor Joe Schreibvogel for displaying a 19-day-old tiger cub there, a tyke too young to regulate his own body temperature without the protection of his mother or any kind of temperature control while on display. It’s not the first time that Schreibvogel has run afoul of federal law. That’s why today, PETA sent fair organizers an urgent letter asking them to bar Schreibvogel from all future appearances.

Schreibvogel, who breeds tigers and other animals, separates them from their mothers and carts them across the country for photo ops at fairs and other events. He’s currently under investigation by the federal government for the deaths of more than two dozen tiger cubs. His many citations for violating federal law include failures to provide animals with necessary veterinary care and an incident in which an employee was mauled by a tiger and nearly bled to death.

“Again and again, and now once more at the Mississippi Valley Fair, Joe Schreibvogel has demonstrated a complete indifference toward the health and safety of tiger cubs,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on the Mississippi Valley Fair to reject cruelty to animals by showing this despicable exhibitor the door.

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PETA’s letter to the Mississippi Valley Fair follows

August 7, 2015

Bob Fox
General Manager
Mississippi Valley Fair

Dear Mr. Fox:

I’m writing on behalf of PETA to call your attention to a serious violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) reportedly committed on your fairgrounds and to request your assurance that this violator will be barred from exhibiting at the Mississippi Valley Fair in the future. On Wednesday, Joe Schreibvogel, operator of the notorious Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park (G.W. Exotic), was inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and he himself claims to have been cited for mishandling a tiger cub because he exposed the infant to potentially dangerous ambient temperatures.

At G.W. Exotics, cubs like this one are torn away from their mothers immediately after birth and forced to endure lives of loneliness and exploitation. This particular cub is less than 3 weeks old, yet he has already been taken from his mother, carted off to Iowa, and displayed for photographs, before his capacity to regulate his own body temperature has adequately developed, all in apparent violation of federal law.

Schreibvogel is currently the subject of four USDA investigations, including one for the deaths of two tiger cubs in May 2013 and another for the deaths of 23 baby tigers over a seven-month period from 2009 to 2010. Last year, he was cited for failing to provide four juvenile bears, who had suffered from untreated skin conditions for months, with veterinary care. G.W. Exotics was also cited last year by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for a 2013 tiger attack that caused an employee to lose part of her arm and nearly bleed to death.

Schreibvogel’s indifference toward the health and safety of this tiger cub, compounded by his laundry list of past AWA violations and history of animal abuse and neglect, is not in keeping with the wholesome, family-oriented atmosphere of the Mississippi Valley Fair. Please, send the message that the fair does not condone animal abuse and neglect and make this Schreibvogel’s last appearance on your grounds.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I’d appreciate a response to our request by August 9.

Very truly yours,

Brittany Peet
Deputy Director, Captive Animal Law Enforcement | PETA Foundation

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