PETA Seeks to Block Notorious Animal Exhibitor’s License Renewal

Dozens of Dead Animals, Extensive Animal Welfare Violations, and Financial Disarray Prompt Plea to Feds

For Immediate Release:
September 26, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wynnewood, Okla. — This morning, PETA sent an urgent letter to Dr. Robert Gibbens, Western regional director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) animal-care division, urging him not to renew the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license belonging to Joe Schreibvogel, which authorizes The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park (G.W. Zoo) to exhibit numerous animals—including more than 100 big cats—at a roadside menagerie located in Wynnewood. Among PETA’s concerns are Schreibvogel’s long history of animal-care violations, the deaths of dozens of tigers and other animals, public endangerment, and his inability to care for the animals properly, in part because of his extensive debts, which amount to between $1 million and $10 million. Schreibvogel’s bankruptcy is currently pending.

“This exhibitor has used his USDA exhibitor’s license to exploit and neglect animals to the point that they die by the dozens,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “Renewing his license would be tantamount to signing off on more animals’ death certificates.”

AWA licensees must demonstrate compliance with the act prior to license renewal. But Schreibvogel is currently the subject of two USDA investigations involving possible AWA violations that resulted in the deaths of at least 23 tiger cubs over a seven-month period. 

The following is just a sample of PETA’s case against renewing Schreibvogel’s license:
Despite Schreibvogel’s inability to care for the animals he currently has, he continues to breed and acquire  additional animals.
G.W. Zoo has repeatedly been cited after members of the public, including children, were injured by animals.
Because G.W. Zoo cannot afford to provide animals with sufficient food, workers were reportedly asked to search pastures for dead cows to feed to them.

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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