PETA Asks Feds to Investigate Facility That Operated Illegally for Months
For Immediate Release:
September 11, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
Monroe, La. – Based on a visitor’s report that animals were suffering and on display illegally at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo (aka the “Monroe Zoo”) in late August, PETA sent an urgent letter this morning asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate the facility for possible violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Concerns in the visitor’s report include a bear with thickly matted fur who was panting heavily and appeared to have trouble walking, animals who were left with no access to food or shelter from the hot summer sun, food that was contaminated with flies and animal waste, and even a dead quail inside a filthy display among live quails. Photos are available here.
The Monroe Zoo’s exhibitors license was cancelled in early May, and the facility was only issued a new one just last week. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notified the USDA on three separate occasions that the zoo was operating illegally during this time.
“It’s illegal to operate without a license and to leave animals in filthy enclosures with no shelter from the sweltering August sun,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on authorities to crack down on this despicable roadside zoo and hold it accountable for every single violation of federal law it has committed.”
The facility, which is owned by the city of Monroe, has been repeatedly cited by the USDA for violating the AWA, including for rusty, rotting, and structurally unsound cages and for confining a black bear named Boudreaux to a tiny, dark indoor cage without access to the outdoors for nearly four years, among many other issues.
For more information, please visit PETA’s blog.