Yellow River Game Ranch Hit With Federal Animal Welfare Violations

U.S. Department of Agriculture Report Documents Severe Neglect, Animals Suffering Without Veterinary Care

For Immediate Release:
February 24, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Lilburn, Ga.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just released a new inspection report documenting a slew of fresh violations of the Animal Welfare Act at notorious roadside zoo Yellow River Game Ranch. According to the report, obviously ailing animals were allowed to suffer without any veterinary care, including a lame goat and sheep, a pig who could barely stand and one who had difficulty walking, a bobcat so underweight that his hipbones and spine were visible, and goats with hair loss and flaking skin.

Rabbits at the facility were found confined to stacked steel cages with very little bedding and scant protection from the elements, potentially placing their lives at risk. The bears’ antiquated concrete enclosure had not been cleaned for a long time and contained a buildup of hair, feces, and debris. Seventeen goats were inadequately provided with only two dog igloos for shelter, while pigs were found sinking in the deep mud in their enclosure and were also denied bedding despite winter conditions. Inspectors reported finding hazardous sharp edges of fencing and dangerous gaps in rusty enclosures.

“Yellow River Game Ranch’s latest citations for neglect and failure to provide basic veterinary care—and the description of such ramshackle enclosures—prove that it either can’t or won’t provide animals with even the most minimal care,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on this facility to allow these animals to be retired to the safety of a reputable sanctuary immediately.”

This inspection report confirmed many of the ongoing veterinary issues that PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has repeatedly reported to the USDA. In 2012, a whistleblower came forward with reports of rampant cruelty and neglect that closely mirror the USDA’s recent findings. In 2014, the roadside zoo was fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for allowing its employees to risk their lives by entering enclosures with bears.

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