USDA Announces Recent Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act Enforcement Actions

USDA Announces Recent Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act Enforcement Actions

Tanya Espinosa    (301) 851-4092
Suzanne Bond    (301) 851-4070

 WASHINGTON, August 16, 2013--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is continuing to move more swiftly and consistently to take enforcement action in response to animal welfare violations.  As part of its effort to make its actions transparent and accessible to the public, APHIS is highlighting enforcement actions taken in response to violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA).

Copies of documents related to these actions, as well as copies of official warnings, are available in the APHIS FOIA Reading Room at /foia/enforcement_actions.php.

During the month of July, APHIS filed administrative complaints alleging that the following persons violated the AWA or HPA:

                        AWA Docket No. 13-0295; Gloria Lee Gilbert d/b/a A Little Petting Zoo, d/b/a All Events Entertainment.
                        AWA Docket No. 13-0294; Robert Gilbert d/b/a A Little Petting Zoo, d/b/a All Events Entertainment.

                        HPA Docket No. 13-0287, 13-0290; Larry D. George.

                        HPA Docket No. 13-0289; Beverly T. Sherman.

                        HPA Docket No. 13-0288; William O. Young.

                        HPA Docket No. 13-0297; Bill Gray.

                        HPA Docket No. 13-0298; Sandra L. Shumate-Tysor.

                        HPA Docket No. 13-0296; Tim Gray d/b/a Southern Comfort Facilities.

The following persons entered into pre-litigation settlement agreements (also known as stipulations) in connection with alleged violations of the AWA or HPA:

            APHIS Case No. CA11613-AC; Aeromexpress, S.A. DE C.V.

            APHIS Case No. HI120356-AC; Tropical Gardens, Inc. d/b/a Saipan Zoo.

            APHIS Case No. MO120009-AC; Jo Ann Parsons.

            APHIS Case No. MO120033-AC; Pamela L. Baldwin d/b/a Samples Creek Kennel.

            APHIS Case No. MO130001-AC; Emily Skinner.

            APHIS Case No. NC130010-AC; Santas Land, Inc.

            APHIS Case No. OH10059-AC; Dan Mast.

            APHIS Case No. OK130013-AC; Jimmy West, Jr and Connie West.

            APHIS Case No. TX120351-AC; Bayou Bend Exotics, LLC.

USDA's administrative law judges and judicial officer issued decisions and orders under the AWA or HPA involving the following persons:

            AWA Docket No. 12-0339; Action Wildlife Foundation, Inc.

            AWA Docket No. 12-0093; Vanishing Species Wildlife, Inc.

            AWA Docket No. 11-0073; Lee Marvin Greenly.

            AWA Docket No. 11-0025; James Lee Riggs.

            AWA Docket No. 11-0026; Thomas R. Lease.

            HPA Docket No. 13-0252; Justin Taylor.

            HPA Docket No. 13-0269; Jimmy Lightfoot.

The AWA requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially or exhibited to the public.  It excludes those animals raised for food or fiber.  Persons who operate facilities in these categories must provide their animals with adequate care and treatment in the areas of housing, handling, sanitation, nutrition, water, veterinary care and protection from extreme weather and temperatures.

To ensure that its licensees are meeting the AWA standards, APHIS inspectors conduct routine, unannounced inspections of all licensed facilities.  Violations of the AWA can lead to penalties, including official warnings, civil penalties and license suspensions/revocations.  For more information on the inspection and enforcement processes, visit APHIS' animal care website at

The HPA is the federal law that prohibits horses subjected to a practice called soring from participating in shows, sales, exhibitions and auctions.  Soring is a cruel and abusive practice used to accentuate a horse’s gait.  APHIS works actively with the horse industry to protect against such abuse, ensuring that only sound and healthy horses participate in shows, sales, exhibitions and auctions.  APHIS' ultimate goal is to end the inhumane practice of soring completely.

The HPA authorizes APHIS to issue civil penalties and to disqualify violators from participating in horse shows, exhibitions and sales.  Both the AWA and HPA contain criminal penalties as well.


Note to reporters:  USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through really simple syndication (RSS) feeds.  Go to the APHIS news release page at and click on the RSS feed link.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write:  USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC   20250-9410 or call
(800) 795-3272  (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).



USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

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