The Camel Farm Permanently Closes to the Public After Years of Vet Care Failures

After sustained complaints from PETA urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) not to renew The Camel Farm’s exhibitor’s license, a USDA enforcement proceeding against the roadside zoo was resolved yesterday with the permanent revocation of its license.

The Camel Farm can never again be licensed, and it also faces a $126,000 penalty, held in abeyance, for nearly 50 alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) between August 2015 and January 2020, including for failing to provide numerous sick or injured animals with adequate—or any—veterinary care. If the roadside zoo violates the AWA again within the next two years, the penalty will become due.

“The Camel Farm must now pay the piper for its years of causing suffering to the animal prisoners in its awful facility, ignoring their illnesses, injuries, and deaths,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler. “PETA hopes every one of the remaining animals will be transferred to reputable facilities where they’ll finally receive the care they need.”

According to USDA records, one coatimundi at The Camel Farm, Shyla, had an eye that was swollen, protruding from the socket, and leaking fluid—but instead of contacting a veterinarian as her condition deteriorated, The Camel Farm’s manager attempted an unapproved procedure that involved trying to “pop” the eye with a needle and his fingers, which caused Shyla additional suffering and worsened her condition. She was eventually euthanized. The USDA also cited The Camel Farm for failing to provide a lame goat named Thor with proper veterinary care seven times, and an ibex named Pixie was found dead two weeks after a veterinarian recommended that she be euthanized.

The revocation follows a 2017 PETA lawsuit challenging the USDA’s automatic renewal of AWA licenses, including The Camel Farm’s. The AWA prohibits licensing a facility that can’t demonstrate that it’s operating in accordance with it, and The Camel Farm has been cited for more than 90 violations of the law in the past seven years. PETA urged the USDA not to renew the facility’s license in 2018 and 2019, but the roadside zoo remained in business—until now.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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