North Carolina Residents Sue USDA Over Renewing Federal License for Jambbas RanchApril 19th, 2012
Roadside Zoo Allowed to Subject Bear and Other Animals to Inhumane Conditions Despite Repeated Violations of Welfare Laws
For Immediate Release
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Fayetteville, N.C. — This afternoon, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), PETA, and two residents of Cumberland County, North Carolina appalled at the living conditions that they've witnessed for a bear named Ben and other animals at Jambbas Ranch Tours in Fayetteville have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) challenging its decision to renew Jambbas' federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license. The AWA, which the USDA is charged with enforcing, clearly prohibits licensing a facility that is not in compliance with the act. The USDA has for years repeatedly cited Jambbas for AWA violations, including unsanitary conditions, hazardous enclosures, failure to provide adequate veterinary care, and failure to supply sufficient quantities of food and potable water. Yet the agency has continued to renew Jambbas' license.
"It shouldn't take a lawsuit to force the USDA to take real action against a shoddy roadside zoo where animals suffer without veterinary care and a solitary bear paces incessantly in a barren concrete cage," says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. "Ben and the other animals at this despicable menagerie suffer every day of their lives, and county residents are now leading the charge to put an end to this cruelty."
"Ben and the other animals should not live like this," says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells, "and through its repeated citations of Jambbas for violating basic animal welfare standards, the USDA has admitted as much."
Numerous bear experts submitted statements to the USDA in opposition to renewing Jambbas' license. After spending several hours observing Ben, bear expert Else Poulsen opined that Ben "is suffering greatly and intervention is critical at this time." She further explained, "Ben exhibits the typical aberrant behaviors of a sensory deprived bear in a substandard enclosure with substandard husbandry practices. His day consists of pacing, begging for bread from visitors, and sleeping—nothing else."
Another lawsuit—seeking custody of Ben the bear—filed by the two Cumberland County residents against Jambbas Ranch is pending.
Photos and video footage courtesy of PETA.