Group asks USDA to investigate underfed tigers at State Fair

2 years 8 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, August 27 2015 Aug 27, 2015 Thursday, August 27, 2015 3:02:00 PM CDT August 27, 2015 in News
By: Katie Grunik and Jenna Middaugh, KOMU 8 Digital Producers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A national non-profit animal protection group filed a request Thursday with the USDA claiming the group overseeing the tigers at the Missouri State Fair violated the Animal Welfare Act. 

Animal Legal Defense Fund Staff Attorney Jessica Blome wrote a letter to the USDA requesting the department investigate Orlando, Florida-based PM Productions Entertainment, Inc. and its owner Robert Mullen. 

Many KOMU 8 News viewers called in with concerns about the physical appearance of tigers at the state fair Aug. 18. Photos of the exhibit have gone viral with multiple sanctuaries sharing the photos through their social media pages and encouraging users to take action.

"According to a firestorm of media coverage last weekend, Missouri State Fair visitors were horrified to witness emaciated tigers performing circus tricks during Mr. Mullen's Amazing Rainforest Adventures exhibition," Blome wrote. "Failing to provide adequate food and water to animals exhibited to the public is a direct violation of the Animal Welfare Act."

Blome cited media sources in her letter that reported Mullen said he fed the tigers 13 to 14 pounds of chicken daily. Blome said tigers need much more food, including red meat, bones and organs in order to thrive. She said people have speculated Mullen deliberately deprived the tigers to motivate them to perform for food.

In her letter, Blome says, "ALDF asks the USDA to assess civil penalties and suspend or revoke Mr. Mullen's license to ensure future compliance with the AWA."

According to Blome, this isn't the first time Mullen has had complaints. 

"In 2013, the International Fund for Animal Welfare released a video documenting Mr. Mullen's trainers forcing emaciated cats, including tigers and cougars, to perform during a county fair," she wrote.

Blome said a former employee also came forward and reported seeing Mullen transporting a tiger from Orlando, Florida, to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the back of a pickup truck.

Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund Stephen Wells said, "ALDF has asked the USDA to consider suspending or revoking Mr. Mullen's license, so that no additional animals can suffer in his care."

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to link to the letter Jessica Blome wrote to the USDA.]

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents will have a chance to learn about - and talk about - climate change Tuesday night.... More >>
28 minutes ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An on-going rift between two east campus communities has come to a breaking point. Non-resident property owners want... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:29:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told authorities he was hearing "voices" when he wounded two... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:07:41 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 670 motorcycles poured into the Phillips 66 gas station off I-70 as the "Run for the... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 6:05:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A new fire station is in store for east Jefferson City, and the city council will review... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 5:10:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office announced late Monday that a special prosecutor has been selected in... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Checking the phone constantly, surfing Facebook first thing in the morning or right before bed, playing games like... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:58:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The UM Board of Curators voted Monday to increase tuition by up to 2.1 percent for the 2018-2019... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Students will leave class early on Tuesday as the 2017-2018 Academic Year comes to a close. The... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:28:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a boating crash that left three dead and two injured... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 3:20:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA -Utility workers began surveying land on Clark Lane for a sidewalk project designed to improve community safety. "The... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A House investigatory committee has expanded its membership for a special session to determine whether... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 12:00:47 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ROLLA (AP) — A Missouri University of Science and Technology student has been sentenced to seven years in prison... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 11:40:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ameren Missouri is planning a 400-megawatt wind farm in rural northeast Missouri, creating... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 10:44:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — Authorities say a man's body was found in southeast Missouri and the case appears to... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 8:48:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – With a new terminal on the way, comes more possible changes to Columbia Regional Airport. A public... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:55:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council will address an ordinance Monday on whether to approve of a special August election... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 2:41:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
MARSHALL - A standoff between Marshall police and an armed man ended without injury. According to a news release,... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:53:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
4am 61°
5am 61°
6am 61°
7am 62°