Of course I’m in a number of animal ‘oriented’ FB groups and came across a notice from the USDA/APHIS concerning inspections with an update to their guidelines:

USDA Animal Care has updated two chapters in its Animal Welfare Inspection Guide – Required Inspection Procedures (Chapter 2) and Veterinary Care (Chapter 6). Of particular note is the section in Chapter 2 in which we publish specific guidance to our inspectors on how to use teachable moments when addressing certain minor non-compliant items.

A teachable moment is a minor non-compliant item that: 1) the facility is willing and able to correct quickly; 2) is not impacting the welfare of any animal(s); and 3) has not previously been cited. If a non-compliant item is having a noticeable impact on animal welfare, it cannot be a teachable moment.
The impetus behind using teachable moments is the same motivation that drives all of our decisions – animal welfare and exploring all options for promoting compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. We see teachable moments as an educational approach that allows an inspector and a licensed/registered facility to work together to bring minor issues at that facility that are not impacting animal welfare into compliance with Animal Welfare Act regulations and standards. Our inspectors document teachable moments on a worksheet, which they then give to the facility, along with the inspection report.

“Little things can become big things if they are not properly addressed,” said Dr. Betty Goldentyer, director of Animal Welfare Operations. “By educating a facility through the use of teachable moments as an additional tool, we will be helping them correct non-compliant items that might affect the welfare of an animal.”

The updated Inspection Guide is posted here.

Also, the Inspection Guide will no longer contain Chapter 9, Animal Care Policies. Instead, Animal Care’s Policy Manual will now be posted as its own link on our website so that we can more efficiently post updates. The Policy Manual is posted here.

At USDA Animal Care, ensuring the welfare of the animals we regulate is at the heart of everything we do.
This email was sent to using GovDelivery, on behalf of: USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service · 4700 River Rd · Riverdale, MD 20737
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Now that was posted a few days ago but the following came up today in my news fed. Seems to be contradicting the general statement-If they were so sincere, they would be working with the owner to get some of this corrected as a working teachable moment but instead they filed suit against the facility…Judging from the direction the writer of this article took and what’s written, PETA, Fanatical Animal Rights Terrorists, are really in charge of the USDA/APHIS government agency.

The updated guideline update doesn’t apply to previous inspections but, it should be noted that the USDA is in error for the build-up of non-compliance and by doing, as stated in the following article, will not correct the errors of non-compliance at the facility or the errors that have existed for years and now compromised with Fanatical Animal Rights Terrorists push the USDA?APHIS to suspend or revoke their permit. PETA will call it a victory but in reality, will do grave harm to the owners as well as the animals.

[Bloggers note to Dr. Goldentyer-The head of your agency is an attorney associated with Fanatical Animal Rights Terrorists (HSUS) who are under investigation by several attorney generals of several states-terrorists within our borders, your sincerity with the update to the guidelines is in question.]


from the Times Herald


Feds take steps against Summer Wind Farms

Beth LaBlano, Times Herald

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed a formal complaint against a Brown City animal sanctuary — one that could cost the facility hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, a license suspension, or a license revocation.

The 24-page complaint lists Animal Welfare Act violations at Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary from 2012 to 2015. It was filed with an administrative law judge Jan. 8.

“The USDA’s latest action against Summer Wind Farms is a rare step by the agency,” said Jenni James, a lawyer for PETA.

“These suits are only brought against the most egregious animal abusers. The facility’s owner should do what’s best for these animals and surrender them to reputable sanctuaries where they can get the care they deserve.”

The 140-acre sanctuary houses several tigers, bears, monkeys and alpaca that were once pets, mascots, movie extras or roadside attractions.

Charles Vanneste, chief executive officer for the sanctuary, has said many of those animals likely would have been euthanized were it not for Summer Wind Farms. He has said that PETA’s repeated pleas to have the animal placed in other sanctuaries would lead only to the animals’ extermination.

Vanneste did not return calls for comment Thursday.

USDA investigators have cited Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary on Mowerson Road in Brown City 147 times since January 2014 for noncompliance with the Animal Welfare Act.

The facility also was named in a lawsuit between PETA and the USDA. PETA listed the sanctuary as a prime example of an exhibitor that is routinely cited by the USDA but whose license is automatically renewed each year.

After 49 noncompliance violations in 2015, the Brown City sanctuary’s license was renewed at the end of December.

Tanya Espinosa, a public affairs specialist for the USDA, said the formal complaint the USDA filed against Summer Wind and Vanneste is one of the enforcement tools available to the USDA when there are repeated instances of noncompliance with the Animal Welfare Act.

She said the complaint places the issue in the hands of an administrative law judge. That judge can assess a monetary fine up to $10,000 per violation, or suspend or revoke the site’s license.

“Once we file that complaint, it’s now up to the administrative law judge and it’s in their domain,” Espinosa said.

“At the same time we’re still inspecting the facility. They’re still required to be in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.”

The 24-page complaint filed Jan. 8 cites violations of the Animal Welfare Act from November 2012 to October 2015.

Those violations include:

  • Several instances where USDA personnel were denied access to inspect the facility.
  • Improper supplies of food and bedding, allowing for deterioration, molding and contamination.
  • Insufficient shelter appropriate to the local climate. Shelters that were not structurally sound. A lack of a perimeter fence around the facility.
  • Failure to remove feces from enclosures in a timely manner. Food receptacles that were not kept clean and sanitary. Lack of potable water.
  • Inadequate veterinary care.
  • An insufficient number of adequately trained employees.
  • Non-compatible animals were housed in the same enclosure.

According to the complaint, Vanneste has 20 days to file an answer with the USDA and schedule a hearing. If Vanneste fails to respond to the allegations, his silence will be treated as an admission of the allegations.

In 2012, Vanneste’s license was suspended for three months and he was fined $500. The USDA order for that suspension cites violations from 2006 to 2010, many similar to those cited in the Jan. 8 complaint.


note: Picture connected to this article can be found at the above link

I went to the Summer Wind Farms website* and FB page* and frankly I can’t see enough areas of non-compliance that would warrant a court hearing, fines, suspension, or revoke a permit considering what’s at stake. I hope they have lawyered-up to fight PETA and a government agency that in itself is flawed in many respects.

What do I know with regards to the USDA/APHIS -PLENTY having been licensed by the agency for 2 decades without serious non-compliant issues. That being said, my husband and I were required to do a major update when requirements changed that were minor with the cost factor excessive…we never recouped from the upgrade of our equipment financially but found in total compliance with the requirements.

I have yet to see the USDA/APHIS working with owners. Rather I found them less cooperative than required by law and also found that they do not follow guidelines written for themselves. There is no recourse with this government agency; even when they are wrong, they consider themselves above the law, there is no real win.

I have more concern for facilities that have not been written up (such as BCR, WBRC and the other facilities I have raised questions about) than I am about facilities that have been and the facilities with areas of non-compliance that over years repeats a non-compliance with healthy animals and without incident. (note: Neither BCR or WBCR are without incident and in the case of BCR, not only have there been incident (when the facility went by another name) but high incidence of deaths accumulated; BCR has the highest death rather of animals than any other facility in this country.)

When I can see MAJOR problems in a facilities own pictures posted on their website or FB page and inspectors don’t see them at facility inspections then there is great reason to be concerned about the USDA/APHIS inspections-or is it the inspectors? Have there been pay-off? Or have certain inspectors been advised not to see areas of non-compliance due to the politics of Fanatical Animal Rights Terrorists? Could it be that by joining certain private organizations such as AZA or GFAS or their policies that the USDA/APHIS gives them a green light no matter what? What’s the secret or secrets that this agency is/are hiding now that it has been infiltrated with HARD-CORE Fanatical Animal Rights Terrorists?!?

*simple Google search and FB search

Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinions of others…Stay tuned  -B





~ by topcatsroar on January 17, 2016.

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