For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2021
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Chatfield, Minn. – A PETA undercover video investigation into Moulton Chinchilla Ranch (MCR) revealed horrific animal suffering: Chinchillas had open wounds, exposed bones, and other painful injuries. Now PETA is running a mobile billboard in Chatfield, Rochester, and Preston today calling on the mill’s owner and operator, Dan Moulton, and his wife, Sue, to shut the facility down and release the long-neglected chinchillas to organizations equipped to provide them with humane care. Last week, PETA ran a radio PSA on Minnesota 97.5 FM alerting locals to the rampant animal neglect found at MCR.
A PETA eyewitness who worked at MCR—which has supplied animals to laboratories and the pet trade for decades—gathered evidence showing that nearly 1,000 chinchillas were constantly confined to cramped, fully exposed wire cages and denied even the opportunity to hide, burrow, or exercise in any way, which are vital natural forms of behavior for the species. The animals were also chronically deprived of desperately needed veterinary care for abscesses and pus-filled eyes, among other painful conditions. One chinchilla died after suffering from a raw, bloody open wound for weeks, and another died after the Moultons’ dog attacked and injured her and she was left to suffer overnight without any care.
“This breeder won’t provide chinchillas with even basic care, and his wife has evidently turned a blind eye to the suffering in her own backyard,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on this couple to let these vulnerable animals finally get the care they need and deserve.”
After hearing from PETA, Atlas Pet Supply dropped MCR as a supplier—its CEO calling conditions there “entirely unacceptable”—and Rochester Community and Technical College’s veterinary technician program ended its class field trips to the mill.
Photos from the investigation are available here. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
The mobile billboard will circle MCR in Chatfield (32846 County Road 5), Dan Moulton’s law office in Rochester (976 14th Ave. S.W.), the Fillmore County Courthouse in Preston (101 Fillmore St. E.), and the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office in Preston (901 Houston St. N.W.).