The Waccatee Zoo, in Socastee, South Carolina, US, has reportedly been fined for multiple violations of the US Animal Welfare Act. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the zoo was fined $7,800 for six violations committed between 5th March 2020 and 5th May 2021. 

The USDA report detailed the six alleged violations:

  • March 5, 2020: You failed to provide adequate veterinary care for two llamas at your facility. APHIS officials observed one adult female zebu and two adult llamas with significantly overgrown hooves.
  • Oct. 22, 2020: You failed to seek and provide adequate veterinary care for one adult Dall ram at your facility. APHIS officials observed the animal with significantly overgrown dewclaws and hooves, thick layers of crusting above each hoof, and ulcerative lesions with fresh blood on all four limbs. The condition of the animal suggested that the ailments were had been ongoing and was overlooked.
  • Oct. 22, 2020: You failed to keep the water receptacle clean and sanitary in the dromedary camel enclosure. APHIS officials observed a water receptacle that contained murky, green water. APHIS officials could not visualize the bottom of the receptacle and the camels had no access to potable water.
  • Jan. 26, 2021: You failed to provide adequate veterinary care for two llamas at your facility. APHIS officials observed the animals with significantly overgrown hooves with toenails that were overgrown and deviating to the side.
  • May 5, 2021: You failed to seek and provide adequate veterinary care for two Aoudads at your facility. APHIS officials female [sic] observed one female Aoudad with profound right-forelimb lameness that was minimally weightbearing. A second adult Aoudad was seen limping on it’s [sic] left forelimb.
  • May 5, 2021: You failed to keep water receptacles in the Aoudad sheep and fallow deep enclosure clean and sanitary. APHIS officials observed a water receptacle that contained cloudy, brown water with clumps of brown and green plantlike material. When drained the receptacle had brown sludge at the bottom. The animals had no access to potable water.

PETA has campaigned for a long time to expose this horrible zoo, dubbing it “the worst roadside zoo in the United States.” Brittany Peet, PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement, said, “USDA penalties like this are issued to the worst of the worst, and Waccatee’s history of neglecting animals makes it clear that it fits that bill.”  The fact that this zoo was not shut down but only fined is proof that the system that oversees zoological collections in the US is not fit for purpose — another example of the need to phase out the entire zoo industry.

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