WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – An animal rights group is challenging the United States Department of Agriculture's renewal of organizations that exhibit animals at roadside facilities.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Inc. filed a complaint on May 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Sonny Perdue, in his official capacity as secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture, and United States Department of Agriculture citing the Animal Welfare Act.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff is challenging the defendants' decisions to renew the Animal Welfare Act licenses of The Camel Farm in Arizona, Deer Haven Mini Zoo in Maryland, Laughing Valley Ranch in Colorado, Bayou Wildlife Park in Texas, Lazy 5 Ranch in North Carolina and The Farm at Walnut Creek in Ohio. The plaintiff alleges the applicants operate in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
The plaintiff holds Perdue and United States Department of Agriculture responsible because the defendants allegedly opted to renew AWA licenses despite evidence that applicants’ self-certifications were "blatantly false, and that in all actuality these facilities were grossly and consistently out of compliance with the AWA."
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks to set aside the recent decisions to renew the licenses, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, and grant such other and further relief as the court may deem just and proper. It is represented by Delcianna Winders of PETA Foundation in Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia case number 1:18-cv-01137-TFH