Tiger exhibitor loses license
A Texas-based tiger exhibitor who visited Duluth two years ago has lost his license after a federal judge found him guilty of abusing his animals and violating the Animal Welfare Act.
Marcus Cook, whose exhibit saw the birth and death of four white tiger cubs at the Mighty Thomas Carnival in Duluth in July 2007, has “repeatedly endangered the lives of their customers and employees, as well as the lives of their animals,” United States Department of Agriculture Administrative Law Judge Victor W. Palmer wrote.
The ruling, dated Sept. 24, 2008, was made public on the USDA’s Web site last week, said Lisa Wathne of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which regularly monitors the site.
“In addition to the astonishing lack of precaution taken by respondents to protect the public and the animals from harm, respondents also failed to feed their animals properly or provide them with veterinary and other requisite kinds of care,” states the order, which permanently revokes Cook’s Animal Welfare Act license.
The judge’s findings do not mention any abuse while Cook’s tigers were in Duluth.
Wathne, who is PETA’s captive exotic animal specialist, told the News Tribune the charges had been amended before the tiger cubs in Duluth died.
She said Cook has appealed the judge’s decision, meaning he can keep his license to exhibit until a decision on the appeal has been made.
Even if he loses his appeal, Wathne said, Cook still will be allowed to keep his animals as pets.
A USDA spokeswoman and Cook did not reply to requests for comment.