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Summary of usda charges Against Hawthorn Corporation


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Summary of USDA Charges Against Hawthorn Corporation
On April 9, 2003, the USDA filed charges against Hawthorn Corporation, several Hawthorn employees, and Walker Bros. Circus, which used Hawthorn’s elephants. The complaint alleges 47 violations of the minimum standards of care established in the Animal Welfare Act that affected 12 elephants between March 29, 2001, and June 1, 2002.


Elephants Affected

Alleged Violations

Details

Delhi

Failure to handle an elephant in a manner that did not cause trauma, physical harm, unnecessary discomfort
Exhibiting an animal under conditions that were inconsistent with her good health and well-being
Failure to provide veterinary care to an elephant suffering from severe chemical burns and bacterial infection

March 29, 2001: Delhi had an injury on her left front foot with an open bleeding lesion.

October 5, 2001: Delhi had an open, draining, and bleeding wound on her nail. The area above the nail was swollen. The cuticles on both of her front feet were very overgrown. Delhi was limping in pain and favored her leg during the performance.


April 23, 2002: Delhi had severe tissue damage to the front feet and several abscessed areas on her body, including areas on both hips, between the eyes, the anterior portion of the ear attachment, on her head, the elbows of both front legs, and the tail. Chemical burns on Delhi’s feet were the result of the use of undiluted formaldehyde to soak Delhi’s feet. On March 4, 2002, Delhi was found in a serious health emergency. Both of her front legs were twice their normal size and were swollen up to her chest. She could not bend her front legs at the elbows, was reluctant to bear weight on her front legs, and had difficulty in walking.
May 4, 2002: The USDA’s elephant veterinary consultant found that Delhi had numerous lesions, a swollen tail, swollen front feet with skin damage and abscess blow-outs, abscess defects on the foot pads, and a huge split nail.

Ronnie

Failure to handle an elephant in a manner that did not cause trauma, physical harm, unnecessary discomfort
Using physical abuse to train, work, and handle an elephant

June 26, 2001: The USDA inspector observed the handler gouge an elephant named Ronnie on the trunk with a bullhook, causing an open lesion.

Joy

Failure to provide an elephant with adequate rest periods between performances
Exhibiting an animal under conditions that were inconsistent with her good health and well-being




Lota

Liz


Delhi

Tess


Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to elephants with overgrown toenails and footpads
Failure to handle elephants so there was a minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public

June 27, 2001: Four elephants had excessive pad and toenail overgrowth on their feet and overgrown cuticles and did not appear to have had proper foot care in a significant amount of time. The inspector observed members of the public approaching the elephants and being loaded on an elephant for rides while no handler was present.
October 2, 2001: Three elephants had overgrown nails and cuticles. The inspector observed parents and children approaching and petting elephants while no attendant was present.

Lota

Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to an excessively thin elephant with a protruding spine and hip bones
Exhibiting an animal under conditions that were inconsistent with her good health and well-being

June 27, 2001: Lota was excessively thin, with a protruding spine and hip bones and appeared to have lost a significant amount of weight.
October 11-15, 2001: Lota had been returned to the Illinois compound two months earlier in an emaciated state, with a lump on her left hip. The property manager and trainer stated that they had never seen Lota so thin. The lump had expanded into a large, painful, fluid-filled abscess that extended down to her mid-thigh. Lota and four other elephants (Misty, Queenie, Minnie, and Lottie) were being given tuberculosis medication as a “preventative treatment.”
May 4, 2002: The USDA’s veterinary consultant stated that Lota should not go on the road until she gained an additional 500 pounds.

Debbie

Failure to handle an elephant in a manner that did not cause trauma and behavioral stress
Failure to handle elephants so there was a minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public

October 27, 2001: Two Hawthorn elephants named Debbie and Judy rampaged at the Word of Life Church in Charlotte, N.C. Two church members were nearly trampled, and children had to be quickly ushered to safety. The elephants crashed into the church through a glass window, broke and buckled walls and door frames, and knocked a car 15 feet, causing an estimated $75,000 in damages. The elephants suffered cuts and bruises.

Judy

Failure to handle an elephant in a manner that did not cause trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm, unnecessary discomfort
Failure to handle elephants so there was a minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public
Exhibiting an animal under conditions that were inconsistent with her good health and well-being

Frieda

Sue


Billy

Nickolaus



Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to elephants with overgrown toenails, footpads, and/or cuticles

May 4, 2002: Four elephants in the protected contact area had nails and/or cuticles that required trimming.
June 1, 2002: Three elephants held in the protected contact area were in need of foot care to prevent potentially deadly foot problems.


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