Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Letters

Hanneford cited for violations

Published in THE JOURNAL NEWS www.thejournalnews.com  3/4/05:    

(Original publication: March 4, 2005)

Animal Defenders of Westchester wishes to thank the public for welcoming us at the Feb. 19 performance of the Hanneford Circus in White Plains. We would like to add the following information:

Hanneford cites a Department of Health certificate as proof that "the animals are very well taken care of," which is deceptive; according to the Department of Health, it issues a temporary work permit after checking basic housing, food and disposal of waste.

This permit means the animals have shelter, something remotely edible, and aren't tracking excrement, and that's all. Inspectors do not check for proper veterinary care records, rabies vaccinations or tuberculosis testing; those are issues of agriculture/market law and are handled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nor do they check for whips, restriction of movement, use of leg chains, etc.

The USDA has issued Hanneford at least 20 citations since 1993, for such problems as neglecting potentially fatal elephant foot infections; storing toxic substances near hay; providing foul-smelling water and an inadequate diet to tigers; and failure to submit to tuberculosis testing for elephants and handlers.

(Verification available at Circuses.com, or contact ADOW, www.adow.org )

On March 12, 2004, John Cuneo, president of Hawthorn Corporation, which leases animals to Hanneford, admitted to 19 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act in order to settle charges filed by the USDA in April 2003. Cuneo was ordered to relinquish custody of 16 elephants to USDA-approved facilities and to pay a $200,000 fine.

This corporation had repeated previous violations of animal care prior to this order.

Kiley Blackman, Yonkers
The writer is spokesperson, Animal Defenders of Westchester


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