PETA Statement re Court Decision in ‘Rubber-Stamping’ Case

For Immediate Release:
June 28, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Brown City, Mich. – Please see the following statement from PETA Foundation Vice President Delcianna Winders in response to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s ruling today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has the discretion to renew (or “rubber-stamp”) licenses issued to exhibitors in chronic violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act automatically:

The court has refuted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) claim that it is required to renew the licenses of flagrant violators automatically, but regrettably, its decision allows the agency to use discretion in deciding whether to keep rubber-stamping licenses for hellhole exhibitors such as Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary, which has racked up more than 200 citations for animal-welfare violations in just three years. The USDA should not be in the business of enabling roadside zoos to cause animals to suffer for years, keeping them in filthy cages without wholesome food, clean water, or vital veterinary care. PETA is looking at other legal avenues to secure these animals’ long-overdue release.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and more information about our work to help animals is available at

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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