USDA Shuts Down Bear Park, Fines Owners for Animal Cruelty

Green-oriented group PETA had a major say in rescuing these animals

Not very long ago, PETA went public with the news that the staff at a bear park in North Carolina were doing just about anything except properly look after the animals in their care.

Recent news on this topic informs us that, in the aftermath of PETA's undercover investigations, the US Department of Agriculture has decided to shut down this so-called animal sanctuary and fine its owners on account of their allowing and even encouraging acts of animal cruelty.

More precisely, the Chief Saunooke Bear Park in said region of the United States now finds itself without a valid exhibitor license, and its owners will have to pay a fine of up to $20,000 (roughly €14,800).

Huffington Post reports that the USDA's decision to take these measures against the Chief Saunooke Bear Park in North Carolina has to do with the fact that the animals living at this supposed sanctuary are lacking not just proper veterinary care, but also appropriate food and a safe enclosure.

Interestingly enough, this bear park might soon be once again allowed to welcome tourists within its premises, provided of course that it makes significant progress towards showing the US Department of Agriculture that it can look after its bears as these deserve.

For the time being at least, the bears are to continue being the legal property of the park's owners, and USDA spokesperson Dave Sacks wished to make it quite clear that their shutting down the park must not in any way be interpreted by these people as an excuse for them to no longer look after the animals at all.

“[The bear park owners] would still need to provide humane care and treatment for those bears,” Dave Sacks told members of the press.

Furthermore, “In order to get his license reinstated, he would have to prove that to the USDA. It’s not like we’re taking over the care of the bears. They are still his property, legally, so that’s still up to the individual to care for them.”

Hopefully, more news on this issue will soon be made available to the general public.

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