PETA to Appeal Rubber-Stamping Ruling for Lazy 5 Ranch
For Immediate Release:
September 8, 2016
David Perle 202-483-7382
Mooresville, N.C. – PETA is asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to review a lower court ruling that found that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has the discretion automatically to renew (or “rubber stamp”) licenses issued to exhibitors, such as Lazy 5 Ranch, that are in chronic violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). PETA notes that the AWA allows an animal exhibitor or dealer to be issued a license only if the applicant operates in accordance with AWA regulations. PETA’s lawsuit argues that exhibitors cannot simultaneously violate the AWA and be in compliance with it—so the USDA’s rubber-stamping policy is illegal. Lazy 5 Ranch was implicated in PETA’s lawsuit because owner Henry Hampton has been under investigation by the USDA for five years and hit with dozens of citations for violating the AWA—yet his license has continually been renewed.
“The court’s decision allowing the USDA to continue rubber-stamping licenses for hell-hole exhibitors like Lazy 5 Ranch condemns animals to suffer in squalor for years on end in filthy cages, without wholesome food, clean water, or proper veterinary care,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA won’t give up until the USDA holds these serial violators accountable and roadside zoos that imprison and exploit animals for profit are relegated to history.”
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.”
For more information, please visit PETA.org.