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Cruel Animal Planet Show Slapped With Miniscule Fine for Mistreating Animals

JAMES WEST: ‘An investigation into the popular Animal Planet reality show Call of the Wildman, exposed how producers routinely trapped wild animals to perform bogus “rescue” scenes for the cameras. Sources described repeat acts of animal neglect on and off set: Bats were stranded in a Houston hair salon, an endangered zebra was drugged and tackled, and a stricken coyote was trapped and caged—all while producers skirted basic animal welfare protections. Now, more than three years later, federal investigators have formally cited Animal Planet producers for a slew of violations under the Animal Welfare Act and have issued a fine… A March 2017 report — known as a settlement agreement—unearthed by the animal rights group PETA via the Freedom of Information Act… reveals that the agency’s investigators fined the show [only] $1,400 for violations across 10 separate dates in 2012 and 2013… Despite the finding, Delcianna Winders, a deputy general counsel for PETA’s legal arm, said the USDA fine is not nearly enough to deter future violations of the Animal Welfare Act. “They got off with less than 2 cents on the dollar,” she said

…“It’s all too common, but it’s appalling,” said Winders, referring to the reduced fine. Matthew Liebman, director of litigation for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, agrees the fine represents a disturbing pattern. “USDA rarely initiates enforcement proceedings against those who violate the Animal Welfare Act, and even when it does, most of those enforcement proceedings are settled for a pittance,” he said. “The penalty here certainly doesn’t match the seriousness of the violations”.’ SOURCE…

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