Animal Rights Extremists Lose First Round to Shut Down Iowa Zoo

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) led by child hating Carter Dillard acting together with a circle of Iowa animal rights activists have sued an Iowa zoo in an attempt to shut down a 20 year old American business.

The ALDF is a group of California vegan lawyers trying to outlaw the human-animal bond, one lawsuit at a time. Joining them are Iowa extremists Tracey and Lisa Kuehl.   Tracey Kuehl is a member of the Iowa Voters for Companion Animals (IVCA), an animal rights extremist group run by Mary LaHay.   LaHay has been exposed in the past for faking animal abuse photos against dog breeders.

The Cricket Hollow Zoo has been the target of a terrorist campaign going back at least four years.   The USDA, is now run by an animal rights shill Secretary Tom Vilsack, who dances to their tune.   He then hired Sarah Conant, the Chief USDA Enforcer and animal rights activist, who tried to make the Dollarhite Rabbitry pay a $4 million dollar fine.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors have cited the small rural zoo for repeated major and minor infractions of animal welfare regulations dating back to 2011, but Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship inspectors speak glowingly of the facility in emails and reports obtained in a Freedom-Of-Information request by

State inspectors of the facility also refer with contempt to citizens who have reported bad conditions at the zoo, calling them “the complaint crowd,” and suggesting to superiors they would file complaints even if none existed.

Contrast the USDA findings with the State of Iowa, state inspectors have issued glowing reports of the Zoo. Literally the only complaints filed against the Zoo have come from the animal rights terrorist front. Of course activists would file complaints where none exist. The Kuehls in particular, have no education in animals. Neither of these women have any clue about the proper care of zoo animals but Tracey Kuehl claims she has witnessed “psychological suffering” at the Zoo which has led her to suffer from a “aesthetic, educational, and emotional injury.”

A month after state and local officials inspected the entire facility declared that all the animals were “active, healthy, and happy” and the zoo was in excellent condition, animal rights extremists with the USDA cited the Zoo for numerous fraudulent violations. One of the violations that the USDA inspector cited was “disrepair of numerous fences” and mud so deep that cattle were up to their knees in it. How did a zoo go from being in excellent condition to “disrepair” of major structures in less than a two weeks? How did a zoo in such excellent condition become a mud pit overnight?   Did the USDA inspector visit during the middle of a storm? Or did they simply lie?   In fact, the USDA citations go on to claim that they found a monkey in “psychological distress.” Just how does some paper pushing bureaucrat from Washington, DC know this? As I discussed in my recent book, The Art of Terror: Inside the Animal Rights Movement, numerous USDA Inspectors have been exposed as having no training in the animals they are inspecting.   So how much experience and medical training does this USDA inspector have in determining the mental health of a monkey?

When these extremists continued to fail in getting the USDA to shut down this business, they sued them directly claiming Tom and Pam Sellners are violating the Endangered Species Act by enslaving their animals.   In particular, the Kuehls claim they have standing to sue the Zoo because they have formed an “emotional bond” with the animals owned by someone else. In the lawsuit filing, Lisa Kuehl claims she suffered distress and anguish from her visits to Cricket Hollow. Their theory of law is ridiculous.   Imagine if I filed a lawsuit against a Mercedes Dealership and claimed they were enslaving their cars and that I had formed an emotional bond with one of them and I demanded custody?   A second animal rights lawsuit was filed against the federal government demands that a court force the USDA to revoke the Zoo’s permit to operate.

Other animal rights extremists and friends of the Kuehl’s such as Nancy Harvey an insurance underwriter, and vegetarian John Braumann have joined the attack against the Zoo and claim to have seen bad conditions. In particular, Harvey whines in the lawsuit that she was “so bothered b y what she observed at the Zoo that she emotionally shut down and could hardly function” and both Braumann and Harvey stated that they have not returned to visit the Zoo because of their fear of depression.

The Court ruled  in a first round blow to the ALDF that they have failed to prove why various administrative documents from the USDA should be included in their sue and settle lawsuit to force the USDA to withdraw the Zoo’s license to operate.  Trial is scheduled for October.

Katharine Dokken is a Public Affairs Specialist at The Cavalry Group and the author of a new book, The Art of Terror: Inside the Animal Rights Movement, available on Amazon.

Follow Katharine and The Cavalry Group on Twitter:   @KatharineDokken @TheCavalryGroup

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