Cricket Hollow Zoo License SuspendedPosted on July 2, 2015
For immediate release:
Megan Backus, ALDF
MANCHESTER, Iowa — The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has learned that the United States Department of Agriculture has suspended the Cricket Hollow Zoo’s license to operate. As a result of the suspension, the Cricket Hollow Zoo was forced to shutter its doors from June 15 to July 8. Late yesterday afternoon, ALDF alerted the United States District Court of the suspension, which comes as the Court considers ALDF’s motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit against zoo owners Pamela and Tom Sellner for violating the Endangered Species Act.
As part of its motion, on June 1 ALDF submitted extensive evidence to the Court of ongoing mental and physical suffering to endangered tigers, lemurs, and gray wolves exhibited at the zoo. ALDF supported its claims with USDA inspection reports and photographs that were developed to document chronic violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
According to the Animal Welfare Act, the USDA can suspend a license to operate an animal enterprise, such as the Cricket Hollow Zoo, “in any case of actual or threatened physical harm to animals” or if APHIS has reason to believe that the licensee has violated or is violating the Animal Welfare Act.
“The Cricket Hollow Zoo has repeatedly failed to demonstrate that it is capable of complying with the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act,” ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells said. “USDA’s decision to suspend its license is long overdue and only serves to bolster our bid to rescue endangered animals who continue to suffer and die there.”
Copies of the notification filed with the court is available by request.