PETA Statement re USDA’s ‘Rubber-Stamping’ Announcement

For Immediate Release:
August 23, 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) notice that it’s considering ending its longstanding practice of automatically renewing (or “rubber-stamping”) licenses issued to exhibitors in chronic violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act:

After years of lawsuits from PETA, the USDA has taken an important first step toward requiring all license-renewal applicants to demonstrate compliance with the federal Animal Welfare Act, which is essential, a matter of common sense, and the only right thing to do. For years, the USDA’s rubber-stamping policy has made the agency complicit in the abuse and neglect of countless animals by roadside zoos, dealers, and other facilities across America, from the tiger in Michigan who was so weak that he couldn’t stand to the chimpanzee in Alabama who suffered for years in solitary confinement. PETA will provide the USDA with voluminous evidence in support of this long-overdue change in policy.

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

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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