SAEN Calls for Immediate USDA Confiscation of Remaining Animals at Kaufman County Facility
While Suffering Continues
Kaufman County, TX- Recent documentation obtained concerning Marcus Cook (AKA
Zoocats) has shown recurring violations and total disregard for the Animal Welfare Act,
its standards, rules and regulations at this facility. Recent documentation obtained by
SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now!) has shown this facility to be in non-compliance
with the AWA as recently as Dec. 21, 2009.
Fifty eight pages document the continued suffering of animals at this facility even though
an Administrative law judge ruled in 2008 to permanently revoke the license of this
facility. Under appeal, the judicial review upheld the initial decision and continued the
license revocation. The facility was charged with numerous violations including handling
of animals, an attack at the facility, bites and scratches during exhibition, lack of proper
veterinary care and improper nutrition and dietary needs. The facility also held a research
designation without having met the criteria to be designated as such.
In 2009 after judicial review, USDA/APHIS/AC confiscated several large cats and placed
them in another Texas facility. This was a positive step but, a reactionary response based
upon the years of abuse. These animals were suffering from years of lack of nutrition
based upon an all chicken diet, even though recommendations were in place from USDA
for switching the diet to Nebraska prepared diet or a red meat diet. The facility refused to
comply with these recommendations. The animals confiscated were suffering from
ataxia, hair loss, and numerous diet related ailments. Several animals were non
ambulatory and could not stand.
The most recent report states that none of the non-compliance issues have been addressed
and the exhibitor continues to violate the AWA. At least 9 animals were cited for the
same problems related to diet and poor nutrition on Dec. 21, 2009.
SAEN calls for the immediate confiscation of these animals and all other animals under
the care of this exhibitor before they are placed under further suffering and/or death under
this careless exhibitor.
SAEN has sent an urgent request to USDA/APHIS/AC to confiscate these remaining
“SAEN believes that due to the most recent inspection reports, it is imperative that
USDA/APHIS/AC take immediate proactive action to protect the remaining animals
at this facility through confiscation. All remaining animals in the care of Marcus
Cook, his associates and/or the Zoocats facility under either the exhibitor’s license
or research designation must be immediately removed to protect them from further
abuse and neglect.” –Donald W. Elroy, Director, Captive Wildlife Advocacy, SAEN
USDA reports, SAEN letter to Drs. Gipson and Gibbens, Law Decisions and reviews are
available from SAEN upon request.
January 19, 2010
Contact: Don Elroy, Director of Captive Wildlife Advocacy, SAEN (865) 286-9082
cell: (865) 360- 6260
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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