Thursday 31 May 2012

USDA Too Slow to Shut Down Dodgy Zoos

Great Cats of Indiana has been closed. Hurrah! It took about ten years to do it. In the meantime the great cats inside were turned into cats that weren't so great; just depressed, underweight tigers and lions with medical problems, and in poor health and condition.

I have written about the dodgy private zoos of America before. There have been some high profile cases, which have resulted in deaths.

Lion at Great Cats of Indiana - I don't the name of the photographer, sorry.

Apparently the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had filed a complaint about Great Cats of Indiana in 2007 and there have been breaches of regulations going back to 2002. A court application was filed by the USDA, as I understand it, in 2007 but the place was still open until now.

Earlier inspections revealed negligent medical treatment of a cougar, leopard and lion. For example, the cougar had half a tail and a bloody open would where it had been severed.

I am informed that the USDA often make cursory inspections of private zoos that are poorly managed to avoid having to report animal abuse as it reflects badly on the them. Also it takes at least 6 years normally for cases to be heard at court (src: Big Cat Rescue).

Then recently the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Law Enforcement received a complaint about the Great Cats of Indiana. They investigated on May 23rd. Corporal Todd Pekny went around to the place and saw emaciated animals in very poor conditions, which demonstrated neglect by the director of the place Rob Craig.

On May 29th they removed seven cats from the facility and they are now at a undisclosed USDA facility.

There it is. Neglect by a private zoo keeper and a government department that might also be accused of neglect. The losers? Of course it has to be cats.


  1. protecting the senior member of the cat family and working in the same direction is not a easy job as the number of organization are working in the same direction and government is also supporting these.

  2. I am not sure what you mean but, yes, it is difficult to manage these things properly but from what I read on the internet there is a strong reason to suspend this product pending further testing. If in doubt suspend the product. I feel there is a lack of proper respect for companion animals and in this case dogs. If we were talking about babies or people there would have been a completely different reaction by the FDA.


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