For immediate release:
August 18, 2021
David Pearl 202-483-7382
Roswell, New Mexico – After PETA notified the USDA of the dire state of animal welfare at Spring River Park & Zoo, the agency cited a city-owned roadside zoo for failing to comply with federal animal welfare minimum requirements.
Spring River violations include refusal to provide the equipment needed to treat a stumbling, underweight barbel with overgrown hooves, and an inability to maintain a structurally strong fence that allowed the black bear and beavers to escape, the last of which was never found. The agency also cited the roadside zoo for the lack of a training plan for a wolf-dog hybrid, a ring lemur enrichment plan, and related records for the inbound movement of two black bears and a mountain lion.
These violations come the years after the city presented a “master plan,” almost none of which was implemented, to improve the Spring River. The two bears are still trapped in an archaic concrete pit; lynxes, foxes, coati and ring-tailed lemurs remain in cramped corn-dyed cages; and the mountain lion was moved to a new aviary, which is still largely barren, too small, and inadequate for its needs.
“Roswell had every opportunity to improve animal welfare, but the agency continues to violate federal law,” says Brittany Peet, deputy general counsel for the PETA Animal Bondage Law Enforcement Foundation. “PETA is urging officials to either keep their promise or require Spring River to transfer the animals to respected institutions where they will finally be taken care of.”
PETA, whose motto is in part that “animals are not ours for entertainment,” recently sent a letter to Mayor Dennis Quintig urging him to block Spring River’s dire plans to acquire more animals. The group has also renewed its offer to donate funds to improve the roadside zoo.if The city agrees to transfer the bears to an accredited reserve, but has so far refused to do so.
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