For immediate release:
Jul 19, 2021
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. – Armed with condemning US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports documenting that guinea pigs did not receive veterinary care due to painful eye conditions, were kept in waste cages, and only had access to “tainted” food in the county’s breeding factory Lucerne, PETA. sent a letter today to Pennsylvania State Police Captain Leo D. Hannon Jr. urging the agency to investigate and bring charges of animal cruelty, if necessary, against those responsible for causing such suffering.
Reports show that a USDA veterinarian visited the facility in January, noted a lack of adequate nutrition and instructed the mill owner to clean the cages and remove the wet bedding, but found the conditions dirty again in May. On the same day in May, a federal agent discovered, among other violations, that one guinea pig had a wrinkled and discolored eye and another had a swollen and ulcerated eyelid. The USDA ordered the owner to process the animals, but in June an agent learned that no animal had received veterinary care and one was in worse condition than before, with green mucus leaking from the eye.
“These reports show a hell of a hole where the owner is unable to provide life-saving basic care to suffering animals, even after federal warnings, and local authorities must take action to remove these animals and close the site,” says PETA’s senior vice president. Daphne Nakhminovich. … “This is blatant disregard – which is why PETA urges everyone to never buy animals from pet stores or from breeders and take them from shelters.”
PETA, whose motto is in part that “animals are not in our hands to be abused in any way,” is opposed to arrogance, a worldview focused on human superiority. For more information please visit PETA.org or subscribe to the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram…
This is followed by PETA’s letter to Hannon.
Jul 19, 2021
Captain Leo D. Hannon Jr.
Special Investigations Division
Pennsylvania State Police
Dear Captain Hannon,
We are asking your agency to investigate and prosecute those responsible for denying veterinary care to guinea pigs, livelihoods and access to clean shelter at the Lucerne County Breeding Factory operated by Nelson H. Martin. We urge researchers to visit the facility with an independent veterinarian who has experience in guinea pig health and welfare so that he (s) can identify any animals in need of care and give his or her opinion on the conditions and for the animals there.
A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinarian documented the persistent neglect in the accompanying reports. On May 20, a veterinarian discovered that one guinea pig’s wrinkled eye was discolored and opaque, while the eyelid of another was ulcerated and swollen. A federal agent assigned Martin to see both animals with a veterinarian. On June 9, a USDA veterinarian discovered that the first guinea pig remained in the same condition, while the second animal’s eyelid appeared to be even more ulcerated and swollen, and green mucus was leaking from it. Martin reportedly admitted that none of them were examined by a veterinarian.
On January 27, some of the 261 guinea pigs at the mill had access only to “tainted” feed, “mostly powder,” which, according to a federal agent, “could lead to weight loss,” as well as other ailments. On January 27, she found wet bedding and feces in the guinea pig cages and ordered Martin to clean up, but found similar conditions again on May 20.
USDA action does not exclude state criminal liability for federally licensed businesses and workers who commit cruelty to animals there. The aforementioned omissions may violate the Pennsylvania Animal Cruelty Act, 18 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute, § 5532. If you would like to learn more about the USDA’s findings, please see the relevant Riverdale, Maryland office contact information here. Thank you for your time.
Vice President of Evidence Analysis