Tell USDA To Do Its Job And Help Elephant NoseyUse the form at the bottom of this page to send a fax today!
The USDA has yet again let a chronic violator of federal animal welfare standards get away with little more than a slap on the wrist.
Just days before Hugo Liebel was set to face a hearing on March 26, 2013 for 33 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the USDA announced it had reached a settlement. Instead of revoking Liebel's license and handing down a maximum penalty of $330,000, the USDA settled with the agreement that Liebel would pay a meager civil penalty of $7,500 and cease and desist from violating the AWA.
This settlement is a shocking disappointment and a pathetic excuse for government oversight. For decades, Liebel has blatantly ignored his legal responsibilities and the wellbeing of the elephant Nosey, and other animals he uses for circus shows. The 33 charges described years of mistreatment including failure to provide veterinary care for the weight loss and chronic skin condition of Nosey, chaining her so tightly that she could not move or lie down, and handling her in a way that was dangerous to her and to the public. The charges also included an incident involving a critically endangered spider monkey who escaped and was not recaptured for 10 days.
With your help, IDA has monitored Liebel for years, documenting numerous, flagrant violations of the AWA as he dragged Nosey and other animals around the country to give rides and perform. IDA submitted multiple complaints with supporting evidence to the USDA, urging the agency to take action to protect Nosey and the public. When the USDA finally filed charges against Liebel in 2011, IDA hoped the agency was finally taking meaningful action to help Nosey. But yet again, the USDA squandered this opportunity to hold Liebel accountable for ignoring the law.
As long as Nosey remains with Liebel, her suffering will continue.
Use the form below to fax Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who is responsible for ensuring that the agency enforce AWA regulations. Tell Sec. Vilsack that you are outraged by the USDA's settlement with Hugo Liebel. Remind Sec. Vilsack that with this settlement, Nosey's suffering will continue as long as she remains with Liebel. Urge Sec. Vilsack to order the USDA to confiscate Nosey. Then call him, also!
Secretary Vilsack's phone number: 202-720-3631
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