Early last year, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) made a big stink about online access to USDA inspection records. The agency inspects facilities with animals regulated under the Animal Welfare Act, such as zoos and sanctuaries. The USDA has since put some back records online, and it’s notable that a couple of HSUS-affiliated facilities were cited by the USDA for violations.
Last year the USDA cited Project Chimps, which started with seed money from HSUS and is listed as an affiliate of HSUS on its 2016 tax return, for several feed and cleanliness violations. “The ground around the pallets on the walls cannot be adequately viewed or accessed for cleaning. Storage areas shall be arranged in a manner that will protect the food from contamination and allow cleaning,” the report says.
Project Chimps was also cited for having an incomplete enrichment plan that did not address the social housing structure for the chimps and didn’t address any chimps that might be in psychological distress.
Another HSUS affiliate, The Fund for Animals Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, was recently cited for having inadequate perimeter fencing.
If there’s good news, it’s that the animals at these centers haven’t met the grim fate that some dogs in HSUS “care” did.
HSUS often uses USDA inspections as a club to hit organizations it has issues with, but it should know firsthand that these issues can often be quickly resolved and doesn’t necessarily mean that animals are being abused. But HSUS isn’t known for being honest or fair. Using HSUS’s playbook, their facilities should be described as “subpar,” “repeatedly cited by the USDA,” and “failing their animals.”