When the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) permanently
revokes an animal exhibitor’s license, it means game over—that person or
company can never again exhibit animals. But Lancelot Kollman, aka Lance Ramos, a notorious animal
abuser who flagrantly disregards the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), must think that
he is above the law. PETA caught Kollman in the act, exhibiting tigers owned by
the notorious Hawthorn
Corporation at a Shrine circus in Fort Worth, Texas.
For animals in circuses, there is no such thing as “positive reinforcement”—only varying degrees of punishment and deprivation.
PETA has given this evidence to the USDA and is demanding
that the agency pursue criminal charges against Kollman and permanently revoke
Hawthorn’s exhibitor license. It would be far from the first run-in either one
has had with the law.
When the USDA yanked Kollman’s license in 2009, he had
racked up quite a rap sheet for cruelty to animals by denying animals
veterinary care, clean water, and adequate shelter; forcing them to live in
unsanitary conditions; using physical abuse as a “training tool”;
abusing two young lions to the point that one of them died; and starving an
elephant so much that he was a full ton underweight when the USDA took the
extraordinary enforcement action of confiscating him.
The Hawthorn Corporation brought Kollman onboard despite his
well-documented history of animal abuse and neglect. That’s no surprise since
Hawthorn doesn’t exactly play by the rules. The USDA knows Hawthorn well: The
first time it ever exercised its authority to seize an elephant was from the
Hawthorn Corporation, after an extensive campaign by
PETA. Hawthorn had allowed an elephant named Dehli
to stand in undiluted formaldehyde, which resulted in severe chemical burns,
and then denied her proper veterinary care for her wounds. Hawthorn was
subsequently ordered to relinquish custody of 16 additional elephants. The USDA
has also suspended Hawthorn’s exhibitor license twice, fined it a total of more
than a quarter of a million dollars, and issued numerous cease-and-desist orders.
Hawthorn’s litany of more than 60 violations of the AWA includes feeding
animals moldy and fly-infested food, denying sick animals veterinary care, forcing
tigers to live in tiny transport crates for months at a time, using unsafe
handling practices, and keeping tigers who were not compatible in small cages
together, which resulted in several tigers’ deaths. In a span of just nine
years, at least 32 tigers owned by Hawthorn died. Many of them were young, and
many of them died under circumstances that were entirely preventable, such as from unsafe and unsanitary conditions that led to preventable diseases.
Urge the USDA to show Kollman and Hawthorn that they are not
above the law. Ask the agency to pursue criminal charges against Kollman and
permanently revoke Hawthorn’s license. Enough is enough.
Article source: PETA Files