Summer Wind Farms Hit With New List of Animal-Welfare Violations

U.S. Department of Agriculture Report Shows Soiled Enclosures, Rotting Food, Improper Killing Methods, and More

For Immediate Release:
November 5, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Brown City, Mich.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just released a new report citing the notorious Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary for 13 new violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in the past month alone. The report—just acquired by PETA—includes citations for two young brown bears held in a filthy enclosure filled with wet and soiled bedding and feces. Adult brown bears were fed “brown, shriveled and discolored” fruit, which may have caused the diarrhea inspectors saw in the enclosures. The facility also racked up a citation for improper euthanasia after CEO Charles Vanneste killed a skunk and a fox, contrary to the facility’s approved veterinary plan—which requires that only a veterinarian administer euthanasia—using a technique that was not approved by the plan. The USDA considered this to be “a very serious issue” because the use of improper euthanasia techniques “can result in prolonged animal suffering and undue distress.” Summer Wind Farms was also cited 98 times by the USDA in 2014.

“This new report makes it clear that appalling neglect and abuse is the norm at Summer Wind Farms,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on authorities to take action and transfer these animals to a reputable sanctuary where their complex needs can be met and they can be safe.”

PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” notes other citations in the new report, including reports of dirty water receptacles, widespread debris, evidence of rodent infestation, moldy food, feces-filled enclosures, and inadequate staffing. Of the 98 citations that Summer Wind received in 2014, 80 were for repeat citations, which were issued for violations such as not having enough staff, a failure to train staff, keeping animals in filthy enclosures amid their own waste and rotting food, and denying animals clean water, warm bedding in winter, and adequate veterinary care. One tiger who was denied veterinary care was so weak that he could no longer stand and his hind feet were rubbed raw from dragging them behind him.

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