Action Follows Lawsuit by PETA, ALDF Against Agency for Rubberstamping Animal Exhibitor’s License-Renewal Applications
For Immediate Release:
June 24, 2013
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382
Fayetteville, N.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed a formal complaint seeking to revoke or suspend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license held by Jambbas Ranch, a Fayetteville-area roadside zoo with a history of dozens of serious violations of the AWA. The action comes in the wake of a court ruling denying the USDA’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), and two Fayetteville-area residents against the agency for renewing Jambbas’ license despite its dozens of serious violations—an act prohibited by the AWA. The USDA is now seeking to revoke or suspend the very license that it issued less than three weeks prior to the complaint. The USDA is also seeking civil penalties, which could exceed $100,000, as well as a cease-and-desist order.
“Jambbas’ license should never have been granted in the first place, so our lawsuit will proceed,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA would like to see the USDA do its job by properly enforcing the law and letting the scores of other chronic violators know that if they cannot demonstrate compliance, their licenses will not be renewed.”
“We hope that this action by the USDA spells the end for Jambbas Ranch’s unchecked abuse and neglect of animals,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Jambbas Ranch is a pit of suffering and death for animals and should have been shut down years ago.”
The USDA most recently renewed Jambbas’ license on May 4—less than a month after citing the facility for failing to give adequate veterinary care to a dehydrated rabbit, who was suffering from a foot wound and, according to the USDA, couldn’t reach her water can. Other egregious violations include failing to care adequately for two bison who were suffering from gaping wounds and a llama with a thick discharge oozing from an empty eye socket. Last year, a North Carolina court found that Ben the bear’s needs were “not being met dietarily, veterinarily, and … environmentally” in Jambbas’ barren cage and ordered for him to be moved to a sanctuary—after years of the USDA’s failure to act.