Iowa Zoo Has License Revoked
An eastern Iowa zoo has officially had its licensed revoked. According to their Facebook page, Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester, in Delaware County, closed for the season November 1. However, there will be no reopening.
A more than 180-page court document cited violations of the Animal Welfare Act as the reason for the zoo's license being revoked. The violations, described as chronic, stem from a dozen inspections, or attempted ones, between June of 2013 and May of 2015.
The zoo's owners, Pam and Tom Sellner, received a civil penalty of $10,000 in addition to losing their license to continue to operate Cricket Hollow. They deny almost every allegation levied against them, according to KWWL.
Administrative Law Judge Channing Strother made the ruling and noted,
It is inconsistent with the AWA to allow a licensee with these chronic violations to continue to operate without sanctions. The violations are in such frequency and numbers that a fine is insufficient. Revocation of the license is necessary.
The record shows that there were insufficient zoo employees to meet the AWA Regulations and Standards for the number of animals the zoo has, yet during the period of the violations at issues in this matter, the number of animals significantly increased.
Being hardworking, having genuine affection for one's animals and otherwise having a sincere subjective intent to take good care of and not to harm them, and correcting violations after they were found in inspections are all admirable things. But a good work ethic and good intentions are not defenses to objective AWA violations found by APHIS inspectors."