Target: USDA Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack
Goal: Thank regulatory officials for taking action against an exhibitor who drugged a zebra for television
The Animal Planet series Call of the Wildman has been under fire from animal rights organizations for repeatedly abusing, neglecting and improperly handling animals in the name of entertainment. One episode features Ernie Brown, Jr. aggressively chasing down and tackling a zebra who was supposedly on the loose. In actuality, that zebra had been drugged prior to filming, so that when the “escape” happened the animal would be easier to catch.
In response to a complaint made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited the zebra’s handler Jason Clay of Franklin Drive Thru Safari for violating a federal regulation regarding trauma towards animals. The citation reads, “During a filming of an episode of a television show at the licensee’s facility, a drugged Grevy’s zebra is grabbed by the actor and pulled to the ground. The regulation clearly states that handling of animals must be done in a careful manner that does not cause trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm or unnecessary discomfort.”
PETA Foundation’s Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders says, “Call of the Wildman is a charade built on staged scenes and animal abuse. The way this show flouts local, state, and federal animal-protection laws is a disgrace to television, in general, and Animal Planet, in particular.” On top of this USDA complaint, PETA has also requested that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service investigate Call of the Wildman for wildlife trafficking violations.
The USDA addressing this matter is an important victory in the fight to end animal abuse in the entertainment industry. Please take a moment to thank USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for prioritizing this important issue.
Dear Mr. Vilsack,
I was pleased to learn that the USDA cited Jason Clay of Franklin Drive Thru Safari for drugging and causing trauma to a zebra that appeared on an episode of Animal Planet’s abusive show Call of the Wildman. In the episode, Ernie Brown, Jr. aggressively chases down and tackles a frightened zebra.
Call of the Wildman has a history of abusing, neglecting and improperly handling animals in the name of entertainment. Thank you for prioritizing the safety of animals by issuing this citation to Franklin Drive Thru Safari.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gary M. Stoltz via Wikimedia Commons