Sugarcreek Roadside Zoo Slapped With 12 More Federal Animal-Welfare Violations

Inspectors Find Inadequate Veterinary Care, Unsafe Direct Contact With Animals, and More Problems at The Farm at Walnut Creek

For Immediate Release:
September 22, 2015

Lakisha Ridley 202-483-7382

Sugarcreek, Ohio

The August 25 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report of The Farm at Walnut Creek—a notorious roadside zoo that PETA has tracked for years—has just become publicly available, and it reveals that the facility has been hit with a dozen more citations from the USDA for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), most of which are repeat citations.

The latest violations include continuing to castrate lambs and dock their tails without veterinary guidance, allowing a suffering buffalo to languish for three months after a veterinarian recommended that he be euthanized, denying adequate veterinary care to five animals, and continuing the cruel practice of dosing animals with chemicals to induce temporary paralysis. Despite many previous citations from the USDA for failing to use adequate barriers between the animals and the public, visitors are still allowed direct and unsupervised contact with the animals.

“Suffering animals, filthy facilities, and endangered visitors are all business as usual at this roadside zoo,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA’s warning to people who care about animals or their own children’s safety is to stay far away from this abusive facility.”

Inspectors also noted a large mound of exposed animal waste and filthy bedding, which exposes animals to disease and contaminates grazing space—an issue that The Farm at Walnut Creek has been cited for eight times since 2012. The facility was also cited for failing to maintain up-to-date records on animals, which hinders the inspection process. The five animals who had been identified as being in need of veterinary care upon the USDA’s last inspection were no longer present at the facility, and there was no documentation on where they had gone.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has filed a lawsuit against the USDA for automatically renewing exhibitors’ licenses even when they are in violation of the AWA. The Farm at Walnut Creek is one of five facilities named in the lawsuit.

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