State Urged to Block Roadside Zoo’s License

PETA Alerts Wildlife Officials to The Camel Farm's Numerous Violations of Arizona Regulations

For Immediate Release:
December 10, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

Yuma, Ariz.After urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last month not to renew The Camel Farm’s federal license, PETA filed a request this morning urging the Arizona Game and Fish Department not to renew the Yuma-based roadside zoo’s state zoo license when it expires on December 31.

In the letter, PETA points out that the state can’t lawfully renew a license for a facility that fails to meet Arizona’s standards for keeping wild animals in captivity, which mirror those set by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). In just the past year alone, The Camel Farm received citations for the following violations of the AWA.

  • Failing to provide the following animals with adequate veterinary care: an emaciated sheep with painfully overgrown hooves who was missing patches of hair, a goat who was unable to bear weight on his right foreleg for nearly a year, and a 2-month-old sheep who struggled to walk and even stand. All these animals were eventually euthanized.
  • Failing to provide a goat who had a mass above his right eye that was “red, inflamed and bulging out of the eye socket” with adequate veterinary care
  • Keeping animals in dangerously rundown enclosures that provide inadequate shelter from the elements and have protruding metal wires, exposed screw tips, broken wooden boards, gaps that animals could escape through or get stuck in, and rusted metal walls

“Arizona law is very clear that officials must deny a zoo license when it’s in the animals’ best interests, and no animal should be on display in The Camel Farm’s ramshackle enclosures,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on state authorities not to sign off on one more year of neglect and suffering at this roadside zoo.”

In May, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—sued the USDA over the agency’s decision to renew The Camel Farm’s AWA license in 2017, a case that’s ongoing.

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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