Photos: Lemurs Run Loose at North Franklin County Fair

Notorious Exhibitor Puts Animals and Fairgoers at Risk, Prompting PETA's Call for Investigation

For Immediate Release:
September 12, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Ozark, Ark. – After a concerned citizen took photos of three lemurs running free at the North Franklin County Fair in Ozark, PETA sent an urgent letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today asking the agency to conduct a prompt inspection of exhibitor Brian Staples, who operates as the Staples Safari Zoo, for possible violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Staples has a long history of violating federal law, including allowing previous animal escapes and attacks as well as confining big cats to filthy, feces-encrusted enclosures.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has called on the fair to cancel Staples’ cruel act and is asking the USDA to hold Staples accountable for any further violations of the AWA that inspectors may find.

“By allowing primates to run loose, Brian Staples is putting the public at risk of sustaining painful bites and contracting infectious diseases,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “His USDA exhibitor’s license is reportedly due to be suspended at the end of October, yet he is still subjecting animals to large crowds, excessive handling, and the constant stress of captivity and transport.”

The USDA has filed three AWA cases against Staples, yet he continues to be cited for numerous serious violations, including for failing to have a proper plan of veterinary care and for keeping animals in filthy enclosures. Staples allowed a capuchin monkey to escape and bite two people who were forced to undergo painful rabies shots, and in yet another escape incident, a monkey was on the lam for two days in near-freezing temperatures. Earlier this year, a capuchin monkey struck a television talk-show host in the face when Staples brought the agitated monkey into the studio.

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“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