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Socastee area zoo fined by USDA for animal welfare violations

The Waccatee Zoo, dubbed the “worst roadside zoo in the United States” by PETA, has reportedly...
The Waccatee Zoo, dubbed the “worst roadside zoo in the United States” by PETA, has reportedly been fined for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 7:46 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2022 at 4:52 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The Waccatee Zoo, dubbed the “worst roadside zoo in the United States” by PETA, has reportedly been fined for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the Socastee area zoo was fined for six violations between March 5, 2020, and May 5, 2021.

The alleged violations include failing to seek adequate veterinary care for some animals and the failure to keep water receptacles clean and sanitary.

According to the USDA, the Waccatee Zoo was fined $7,800. Documents show a settlement agreement was reached on March 30, although specific terms of the agreement were not immediately known.

The USDA 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.

“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,” said PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet.

PETA has been vocal on the alleged mistreatment of animals at the Waccatee Zoo in the past, advocating for the zoo to be shuttered and the animals released to other facilities to be cared for.

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