New Finding: Holmes Farm Manager Has History of Violating Federal Law

USDA Reports Show That Suffering, Cruelty, and Filth Have Been the Rule, Not the Exception, in Pet Shop Business

For Immediate Release:
June 14, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Alburtis, Pa. – Government documents just obtained by PETA show years of violations of animal-welfare regulations at Arts Animals—a Berks County animal breeder and dealer operated by Clinton A. “Art” Holmes, who is also a manager at Holmes Farm, the massive Pennsylvania animal mill recently cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for at least 117 violations of 14 federal regulations. Until PETA’s recent revelations, Holmes had supplied small animals to PetSmart and Petco for years.

USDA inspectors found violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act during five of the last six routine inspections of Arts Animals. Among other problems, 20 hamster enclosures had green algae in the water bottles, and about 30 of them had an excessive buildup of rust on the feeder lids that the animals chew on, which could make them dangerously ill. Dusty debris-covered fans and vents failed to eliminate the ammonia odor in the room, and food was stored on a floor that was covered with feces and debris. Holmes was cited last December, after a government inspector found that birth, death, and/or euthanasia records for animals were unavailable, and again in March 2016.

“Every look behind the closed doors of the pet trade shows that this industry ignores animals’ most basic needs—down to the necessities of life,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “This systemic neglect, filth, deprivation, and cruelty is why PETA urges consumers to buy pet supplies only at stores that do not sell live animals.”

After PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—released its video exposé revealing that animals were frozen alive, stacked in filthy wire-floored cages, and deprived of adequate food, water, and veterinary care at Holmes Farm, Petco, PetSmart, and Pet Supplies Plus all announced that they had dropped it as a supplier. The facility remains under federal investigation.

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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