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Help stop notorious animal abuser

January 31, 2013
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BACKGROUND | SOURCE PETA

The notorious Hawthorn Corporation, which is owned by John Cuneo, has one of the most sordid histories of animal abuse and neglect in the circus industry. For two decades, its egregious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) have continued undeterred despite more than 100 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citations for AWA violations, including failing to provide animals with proper veterinary care, denying animals adequate space for months on end, failing to provide animals with adequate nutrition, and physical abuse of animals. In fact, Hawthorn was the subject of the USDA’s first elephant confiscation in U.S. history. The USDA seized an elephant named Delhi from Hawthorn and ordered Hawthorn to relinquish 16 additional elephants after finding Delhi in imminent danger because of untreated chemical burns she sustained after Hawthorn forced her to stand in undiluted formaldehyde. The USDA took a number of additional enforcement actions against Hawthorn—resulting in license suspensions and more than a quarter of a million dollars in fines—which have proved to be entirely ineffective at deterring Hawthorn from continuing to flagrantly neglect and abuse animals.

Hawthorn also has a history of illegally exhibiting animals without a valid license. In fact, since October 2012, Lance Ramos—another serial animal abuser and AWA violator, whose license was revoked in 2009 for numerous serious AWA violations, including using physical abuse to train exotic cats to the point that at least one lion died—has been illegally exhibiting tigers on behalf of Hawthorn in numerous circus performances. By allowing a documented animal abuser like Ramos to act as its tiger trainer and exhibitor, Hawthorn further demonstrates its continued priority of putting profits above the welfare of the animals it forces to perform.

Cuneo and Hawthorn should never be allowed to exhibit animals for profit again. Please join PETA in urging the USDA to revoke Hawthorn’s license and permanently disqualify Cuneo and his employees and agents from obtaining a USDA license.


WHOM TO CONTACT

Please send a polite e-mail to Ramona Romero, USDA general counsel (at ramona.romero@osec.usda.gov), and urge her to ensure that the USDA revokes Hawthorn’s exhibitor license.


SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Ms. Romero,

I strongly urge you to ensure that the USDA revokes the exhibitor license of John Cuneo’s Hawthorn Corporation, a notorious animal abuser and serial Animal Welfare Act violator. For more than two decades, Hawthorn has blatantly disregarded both animal welfare and the law, clearly undeterred by more than 100 USDA citations, two license suspensions, more than a quarter of a million dollars in fines, and confiscation or relinquishment of at least 17 exotic animals.

Cuneo continues to flaunt his disregard for the law and animal welfare by allowing Lance Ramos—whose USDA license was revoked in 2009 for egregious AWA violations, including using physical abuse to train exotic cats to the point that at least one lion died—to illegally exhibit tigers.

Clearly, the numerous enforcement actions that the USDA has taken against Hawthorn have done nothing to stop its flagrant disregard of animal welfare and the law—therefore, the USDA must revoke Hawthorn’s license in order to fulfill the purpose of the AWA, which is to ensure the humane care and treatment of animals.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent appeal.

NAME


hawthorn corporation,
licensed to torture
and kill.
they will never stop,
not until.
their license to do so
is removed.
and all the innocent animals,
are to sanctuaries,
moved!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson


14 Comments leave one →
  1. MorganG permalink
    January 31, 2013 7:33 pm

    I cannot fathom why all of these animals have not been confiscated. Have the fines been paid?

    Like

    • January 31, 2013 8:28 pm

      It would seem as if nobody really cares, despite fines being paid or not. That said, I don’t know the specifics. Thanks, Morgan.

      Like

  2. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    February 1, 2013 4:33 am

    hawthorn corporation,
    licensed to torture
    and kill.
    they will never stop,
    not until.
    their license to do so
    is removed.
    and all the innocent animals,
    are to sanctuaries,
    moved!

    Like

  3. February 1, 2013 11:46 am

    how many world-inhabitants are disappointed with this world?

    Like

    • February 1, 2013 5:19 pm

      There is a LOT of disappointment and heartache. Thanks, Joyce.

      Like

  4. lindabadham permalink
    February 1, 2013 2:40 pm

    SENT LETTER. YOU CAN JUDGE A NATION BY THE WAY THEY TREAT THEIR ANIMALS !! GHANDI WAS RIGHT . NOT ENOUGH IS BEING DOWN TO PROTECT THEM IN THIS GREEDY SICK CRUEL WORLD !!

    Like

  5. February 1, 2013 3:32 pm

    Hawthorn is a disgrace!!! My best guess is that money is what is keeping them from being prosecuted or having animals removed but thats just a guess email sent and shared in several places thanks Stacey

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Hawthorn Corporation owned by John Cuneo, has one of the most sordid histories of animal abuse and neglect in the circus industry | Save Animals Today

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