Summer Wind Farms Under Fire Yet Again for Appalling Animal Welfare Citations

Roadside Zoo at Center of PETA Lawsuit Cited for Ailing Lemurs, Stressed Tiger Kept in Dog Kennel, Stench of Decaying Meat, and Excessive Feces

For Immediate Release:
June 14, 2016

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Brown City, Mich.Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary—which is currently at the center of a PETA lawsuit—has, yet again, been slapped with even more citations for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) newly released May 17 inspection report, three endangered ring-tailed lemurs who appeared thin and had sparse coats had been denied veterinary care, as their condition had not been reported. The Asian black bear and American black bear enclosures were littered with feces. A grizzly bear’s water receptacle had excessive algae growth, and a meat cooler had the same stench of rotten and decaying meat that’s been noted in inspections dating back two years.

During a previous inspection, Summer Wind Farms was cited for confining a tiger to a basement—and in an apparent attempt to correct this issue, the facility has now been cited for moving the tiger to a noisy, stressful dog kennel area that reeked of ammonia, which could lead to respiratory issues. Another tiger’s enclosure was muddy and not draining properly, potentially leading to health issues caused by fecal contamination.

These new citations follow January’s formal complaint by the USDA alleging nearly 90 willful violations of the AWA documented at Summer Wind Farms between November 2012 and October 2015—the first step in a disciplinary process that could result in license suspension or revocation

“These latest citations add to Summer Wind Farms’ mile-long rap sheet for filthy conditions and failure to provide veterinary care,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “They make clear that this squalid facility either can’t or won’t properly care for exotic animals, which is exactly why PETA is calling for its exhibitor license to be stripped and the animals to be sent to reputable sanctuaries.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has filed a lawsuit against the USDA for rubber-stamping renewal licenses of law-violating facilities like Summer Wind Farms. Last year’s dozens of AWA violations at the roadside zoo included, among many other issues, keeping animals in small and filthy enclosures as well as denying animals clean water to drink and adequate veterinary care—but Summer Wind Farms still had its license renewed automatically on December 31.

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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