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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA Civil Action No.

5:12-cv-00212 COLONEL HOSEA M. RAY 703 Kooler Cir. Fayetteville, NC 28305 ) ) ) ) and ) ) RIKKI HARRISON ) 1329 Alexwood Dr. ) Hope Mills, NC 28348 ) ) and ) ) PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT ) OF ANIMALS ) 1536 16th St., N.W. ) Washington, DC 20026 ) ) and ) ) ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND ) 170 East Cotati Ave. ) Cotati, CA 94931 ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) v. ) ) THOMAS VILSACK, in his ) official capacity as Secretary ) United States Department of Agriculture ) 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. ) Washington, D.C. 20250 ) ) and ) ) UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ) AGRICULTURE ) 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. ) Washington, D.C. 20250 ) ) Defendants. ) __________________________________________)

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COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 1. This is a case under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 706(2),

challenging a decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA to renew the Animal ) Welfare Act ( AWA license of Jambbas Ranch despite its repeated and ongoing violations of ) the AWA and false certifications to the USDA. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B)

and 28 U.S.C. 1331. 3. 1391(e). Venue is proper in this district under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B) and 28 U.S.C.

PARTIES Plaintiffs A. Colonel Hosea M. Ray 4. Plaintiff Colonel Hosea M. Ray is sixty-three years old and a lifetime resident of

Cumberland County, North Carolina. Colonel Ray retired from the U.S. Army in 2004 after thirty-five years of service. Colonel Ray was taught at a young age to respect wild animals and has a lifelong love for animals. He derives personal, recreational, educational, and aesthetic benefits from being in the presence of and observing animals in humane conditions. He suffers personal distress when he witnesses animals in conditions that harm them physically or psychologically, or are otherwise inhumane. For approximately fifteen years Colonel Ray has owned a sixty-acre property that is undeveloped. This property is approximately ten miles from

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Jambbas Ranch, a self-described working ranchthat sells animals, raises animals for meat, and exhibit more than 100 animals, including a bear, goats, cows, pigs, rabbits, sheep, bison, elk, deer, and a variety of exotic animals. Colonel Ray prohibits hunting, fishing, and trapping on his property, and visits it approximately twice a month to observe wildlife, including bears, foxes, coyotes, deer, squirrels, rabbits, and wild turkey. He derives personal, recreational, educational, and aesthetic benefits from observing these animals. Colonel Ray also visits animals at the North Carolina Zoo every year and derives personal, recreational, educational, and aesthetic benefits from observing the animals there in conditions that simulate their natural habitats. 5. Because of his interest in observing animals Colonel Ray visited Jambbas Ranch

in February 2011. While at Jambbas Ranch, Colonel Ray observed many animals who exhibited signs of physical and psychological suffering and who were held in inhumane conditions. He observed a raccoon and a fox, each confined solitarily in small, barren enclosures. He observed both of these animals pacing back and forth, a behavior he knew was abnormal because in all his years of observing foxes and raccoons in the wild he has never witnessed it. Colonel Ray also noted that the enclosures in which these animals were held bore no resemblance to their natural habitats. He further observed that the fox and raccoon acted uncomfortably and skittish. Colonel Ray also observed a bear named Ben, who was pacing back and forth in a small, concrete enclosure. He also knew that this behavior was abnormal because, in all his years of observing bears in the wild, he has never witnessed it. He also observed that the floor of Ben s enclosure was concrete, with no bedding whatsoever. During his visit to Jambbas Ranch Colonel Ray also observed an alligator living in a filthy mud pit that bore no resemblance to the natural habitats in which he has observed alligators living. He also observed two deer enclosed in a pen, unable to roam as deer do in their natural habitat. Colonel Ray experienced distress and anguish

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as a result of his trip to Jambbas Ranch and his observations of animals held in unnatural, inhumane conditions who were engaging in abnormal behaviors that are indicative of psychological distress. The conditions under which the animals were maintained impaired his aesthetic enjoyment of them. 6. Because he cared about the animals he had observed at Jambbas Ranch and was

concerned about their conditions and well-being, Colonel Ray began dedicating significant time to trying to improve their situation. He spoke before the Cumberland County Commissioners about Jambbas Ranch and his concerns for the animals kept there. Colonel Ray also spoke before the local school board, which frequently sends students on field trips to Jambbas Ranch. In addition, he met with County Commissioners individually to discuss the conditions of the animals held at Jambbas Ranch, as well at the county attorney and the prosecutor office s regarding Jambbas Ranch violations of animal-related County ordinances. Colonel Ray also s attended a court hearing regarding the owner of Jambbas Ranch unlawful possession of wild s animals. 7. On June 13, 2011, Colonel Ray met with North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue s

Chief of Staff, Britt Cobb, to discuss his concerns about the conditions and well-being of the animals held at Jambbas Ranch. 8. On June 14, 2011, Colonel Ray went before a magistrate to swear out a complaint

regarding Jambbas Ranch violations of local laws but was informed by the District Attorney s s office that they would not prosecute the case because they believed that the ordinances were going to be amended to exempt Jambbas Ranch. Colonel Ray then contacted a county commissioner about the refusal to prosecute.

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9.

On July 25, 2011, Colonel Ray visited Jambbas Ranch to check on the condition

of the rabbits after learning of a report that a rabbit at the facility was suffering from severe torticollis, or head tilt,a serious veterinary condition that typically stems from one or more underlying causes such as untreated inner ear infections, cancer, head trauma, intracranial abscesses, or parasitic infections. During his visit Colonel Ray did not see the rabbit with head tilt but did observe that there were over twenty rabbits in a hot metal building with only one fan. The rabbits appeared to Colonel Ray to be stressed by the heat. In addition, one rabbit was separated from the others and had a wound on his back. During this visit Colonel Ray also observed other animals at Jambbas Ranch, including Ben the bear, the fox, the deer, and the goats. All of these animals appeared to be in substantially the same conditions that Colonel Ray had previously observed them. Colonel Ray experienced distress and anguish as a result of his observations of animals held in unnatural, inhumane conditions who were engaging in abnormal behaviors that are indicative of psychological distress. The conditions under which the animals were maintained impaired his aesthetic enjoyment of them. After his visit, Colonel Ray filed a complaint with Cumberland County Animal Control regarding his concerns about the rabbits. The director of animal control informed Colonel Ray that the agency had recently received twelve different complaints regarding rabbits at Jambbas Ranch. The director of animal control further stated that he would not take action with regard to the rabbits caged in the heat, and that the rabbit with head tilt had been destroyedby James Bass, owner of Jambbas Ranch. 10. On October 11, 2011, Colonel Ray went to Cumberland County Attorney Rick

Moorefield office seeking a copy of proposed ordinance changes intended to exempt Jambbas s Ranch from the prohibition on keeping wild animals. Moorefield refused to give Colonel Ray a

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copy of the proposed amendments at that time. Moorefield later sent the amendments to Colonel Ray via e-mail. 11. On December 9, 2011, Colonel Ray again visited the animals at Jambbas Ranch.

At that time he observed Ben the bear, whose conditions appeared substantially the same as on Colonel Ray previous visits. When he approached the enclosure Ben came out of his concrete s dento see Colonel Ray. When Colonel Ray began walking away from Ben after visiting with him, Ben began pacing back and forth. During this visit, as during previous visits, the fox appeared to be nervous and paced throughout Colonel Ray visit. The raccoon also paced s throughout Colonel Ray visit. Colonel Ray noted that the raccoon tail, rear legs, and bottom s s had no fur. Colonel Ray also observed that the rabbits were in suspended cages in a barn as he had previously observed. There was no glass in the windows to the barn and cold wind was blowing into the barn. Colonel Ray additionally observed a pheasant in one of the suspended enclosures in the barn with the rabbits. The cage was approximately 1.5 feet x 1.5 feet and the pheasant appeared unable to stand or turn around comfortably in the cage. Colonel Ray further observed that some of the dogs at Jambbas Ranch did not have any water, while others had dirty water receptacles. While he was observing the dogs, someone came to feed them but did not give them water. Colonel Ray refilled the dogs water bowls himself. Colonel Ray experienced further distress and anguish as a result of this trip to Jambbas Ranch and his observations of animals held in unnatural, inhumane conditions, some of whom were engaging in abnormal behaviors that are indicative of psychological distress. Colonel Ray was especially distressed by the condition of the raccoon. The conditions under which Colonel Ray observed the animals impaired his aesthetic enjoyment of these animals. After this visit Colonel Ray contacted

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Cumberland County Animal Control as well as the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to report his concerns about the raccoon. 12. On January 23, 2012, Colonel Ray and Rikki Harrison filed a Complaint and

Request for Permanent Injunction in the General Court of Justice of Cumberland County, North Carolina, against Jambbas Ranch Tours, Inc. and the owners and operators of Jambbas Ranch in an action styled Ray, et al. v. Jambbas Ranch Tours, Inc., et al., 12 CVD 669. Colonel Ray and Ms. Harrison filed suit to obtain injunctive relief to prevent Jambbas Ranch from further violating North Carolina animal welfare laws and to terminate Jambbas Ranch ownership and s s possessory rights in Ben the bear. That case is currently pending. 13. On April 15, 2012, Colonel Ray returned to Jambbas Ranch to visit and observe

the animals held there. During this visit he noted that the animalsconditions remained essentially the same as he had previously observed. Colonel Ray again observed Ben the bear pacing back and forth in his small, barren enclosure. He also observed that the concrete floor of Ben enclosure was very wet with numerous puddles, and still devoid of bedding materials. He s observed that Ben had only one water source for both drinking and bathing. Colonel Ray saw one alligator living the same filthy mud pit that he has observed on previous visits to Jambbas Ranch. Colonel Ray also noted that the red fox was still being kept solitarily in a small, barren enclosure on a concrete floor that is nearly entirely covered with green moss. The fox water s receptacle appeared dirty. At the time of Colonel Ray visit, the fox enclosure was surrounded s by goats and the fox was exhibiting the same uncomfortable, skittish behavior that Colonel Ray has observed on previous visits to Jambbas Ranch. Colonel Ray also observed rabbits living in cages that were filthy with accumulations of fur, feces, and other debris. Colonel Ray experienced particular distress and anguish when he discovered that the raccoon, who he

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previously observed to be suffering from significant hair loss, was not in the raccoon enclosure and was nowhere to be seen. Colonel Ray experienced further distress and anguish as a result of his trip to Jambbas Ranch and his observations of animals held in unnatural, inhumane conditions, some of whom were engaging in abnormal behaviors that are indicative of psychological anguish, and the conditions under which the animals were maintained impaired his aesthetic enjoyment of these animals. 14. Because he appreciates and is attached to the particular animals at Jambbas Ranch

and is concerned about their welfare, Colonel Ray wishes to see them in humane conditions and to avoid seeing them in inhumane conditions. The USDA decision to license Jambbas Ranch s violates Colonel Ray aesthetic, recreational, and personal interest in seeing these animals in s humane conditions. Colonel Ray has been, and will continue to be, injured by USDA decision s to license Jambbas Ranch because it enables Bass to hold and exhibit these animals in inhumane conditions, which in turn has caused and will continue to cause Colonel Ray emotional distress and aesthetic injury. Without a USDA license Jambbas Ranch would not be able to exhibit these animals and would likely re-home them somewhere that Colonel Ray could visit them. In addition, without a USDA license Jambbas Ranch would be prohibited by local law from even possessing Ben, the fox, the raccoon, the alligator, and the deer, as Jambbas Ranch is only exempt from the local prohibition on possessing such animals because it is considered a zoo, which it cannot legally operate as under federal law without a USDA license. 15. Colonel Ray would like very much to observe and visit the animals currently at

Jambbas Ranch, including Ben the bear, the fox, the raccoon, and others, in humane conditions. If the animals were transferred to a sanctuary or other place where they were no longer mistreated, Colonel Ray would visit them as often as possible.

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B. Rikki Harrison 16. Rikki Harrison has been a resident of Cumberland County, North Carolina, for

eleven years. Ms. Harrison has a lifelong love of animals. She grew up rescuing wildlife and raising horses with her mother, a veterinary technician who taught Ms. Harrison a great deal about animals and their basic biological and habitat needs. Ms. Harrison has a degree in biology, reads extensively about animals, and has worked as a volunteer veterinary technician. Ms. Harrison has also worked as an animal cruelty investigator and vice president of the Robeson County Humane Society. 17. Ms. Harrison derives great personal, recreational, educational, and aesthetic

benefits from being in the presence of and observing animals in humane conditions. She suffers personal distress and aesthetic injury when she witnesses animals in conditions that harm them physically or psychologically, or are otherwise inhumane. 18. In approximately the fall of 2008, Ms. Harrison learned that Jambbas Ranch had a

bear named Ben on display. Because of her interest in animals, Ms. Harrison went to observe Ben and the other animals at Jambbas Ranch. She saw that Ben was held in a small chain-link cage with a wet concrete floor. There was no bedding in Ben enclosure, and Ben was s repetitively pacing back and forth. Based on her experience with and knowledge of animals, Ms. Harrison understood Ben pacing to be a sign of psychological suffering. She was distressed by s the conditions and behavior she observed, which impaired her aesthetic interest in observing Ben in humane conditions. 19. On or about October 8, 2010, Ms. Harrison again visited Jambbas Ranch. During

her visit, she saw that Ben was held in the same cage as the last time she saw him. Again the concrete floors were wet and there was no bedding for Ben. Ben paced constantly while Ms. Harrison was with him. She experienced anguish at observing the condition in which Ben was
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held and his behavior, which she knew to be a sign of psychological distress. While at Jambbas Ranch on October 8, 2010, Ms. Harrison also observed numerous other animals who exhibited signs of physical and psychological suffering and were held in inhumane conditions. These observations made Ms. Harrison extremely concerned about these animalsconditions, treatment, and welfare. During this visit, she observed approximately fifteen buffalo. She observed open wounds on all of the buffalo who she could see closely, approximately thirteen of them. The wounds were generally the size of a half-dollar, and some were significantly larger. They were bloody and oozing with pus. Ms. Harrison saw no ointment or other signs that these wounds were being treated. One buffalo also had a broken horn. Ms. Harrison also observed rabbits who were housed in a dark barn in wire pens suspended from the ceiling. There was no bedding in the pens, and food and other items were stored on top of the pens. Many of the rabbits were caged alone. In addition, Ms. Harrison observed a goat with diarrhea. She also observed exposed barbed wire and nails throughout the goat enclosure. Ms. Harrison further observed an elk who appeared to have no water. She also saw dogs confined in small pens. These dogs had weepy, crusty eyes, which Ms. Harrison knew was not healthy. She also saw that the dogs had matted fur and that their water containers contained algae and dirty water. Observing all of these inhumane conditions and suffering animals caused Ms. Harrison distress, which impaired her aesthetic interest in observing the animals in humane conditions. 20. On or about October 21, 2010, Ms. Harrison again visited Jambbas Ranch.

During her visit with Ben she observed that he was kept in the same conditions that she had previously observed, and that he again repeatedly paced back and forth. 21. On or about October 23, 2010, Ms. Harrison returned to Jambbas Ranch. During

her visit with Ben she observed the same conditions she had seen previously. She also observed

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that the food provided to Ben consisted of dog food pellets thrown onto the floor at the front of his enclosure, much of it not even entirely in the enclosure so that Ben had to reach under the chain-link fence to access it. During this visit, Ms. Harrison again observed raw, open bloody wounds on numerous buffalo. She also observed cavies (South American rodents) with dirty, broken food receptacles. In addition, Ms. Harrison observed a fox and a raccoon, each in small enclosures with very little enrichment and concrete floors with no bedding. The fox and raccoon appeared skittish and afraid, and tried to hide in the hollowed out logs that served as their shelters. 22. As a result of these visits, Ms. Harrison formed an emotional attachment to Ben

and committed to do everything in her power to help him. She thinks about Ben frequently and sometimes cries about the conditions in which he is forced to live. In addition, the conditions that Ben and the other animals are kept in, and the signs of suffering that they exhibit, causes Ms. Harrison distress, which impairs her aesthetic interest in observing the animals in humane conditions. 23. On or about November 16, 2010, Ms. Harrison met with the Cumberland County

Attorney to discuss her concerns about Ben and the other animals held at Jambbas Ranch in violation of county law. She also met separately with an assistant district attorney regarding these same concerns. 24. On or about November 17, 2010, Ms. Harrison met with a representative of the

Cumberland County Sheriff Office to file a complaint regarding Ben and the other animals held s at Jambbas Ranch. 25. On December 20, 2010, Ms. Harrison submitted, along with People for the Ethical

Treatment of Animals ( PETA a request to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources ),

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Commission ( NCWRC that it not renew Jambbas Ranch permits and that it seize Ben to ) s relocate him to a reputable sanctuary. She also requested that the NCWRC seize the fox, raccoon, and alligator and relocate them to reputable sanctuaries. 26. On January 24, 2011, Ms. Harrison went before a Cumberland County magistrate

and swore out a criminal complaint against the owner of Jambbas Ranch, James Bass, for keeping Ben as well as the fox, alligator, and raccoon in violation of county law. 27. On February 7, 2011, Ms. Harrison attended court for a hearing on these

violations of county law and was prepared to serve as a witness to these violations. The case was continued at that time. 28. On March 13, 2011, Ms. Harrison returned to Jambbas Ranch to visit Ben and the

other animals held there. During this visit she noted that the conditions remained essentially the same as she had previously observed. She again observed Ben pacing back and forth in his cage, which again had wet patches. She also observed Ben biting at the chain link fence enclosing him. No environmental enrichment had been added to Ben enclosure, or those of the other animals, s including the fox and raccoon. Ms. Harrison also observed empty water receptacles as well as water receptacles that contained algae and dirty water. She also observed at least one deer with overgrown hooves, a condition that, she knew from her experience, could be extremely painful. In addition, Ms. Harrison again observed open wounds on the buffalo that were bloody and oozing, and had flies on them. She further saw a pig who was kept in a circular metal enclosure that he could not see out of. This pig had no grass and no shade structure. It distressed Ms. Harrison and took an emotional toll on her to see that Ben conditions had not improved and s that he continued to exhibit symptoms of psychological suffering as a result of his conditions. In addition, the conditions that Ben and the other animals were kept in, and the signs of suffering

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that they exhibited, caused Ms. Harrison distress, which impaired her aesthetic interest in observing the animals in humane conditions. 29. On April 11, 2011, Ms. Harrison again attended court for a hearing on Bass s

violations of county law, prepared to serve as a witness. The case was again continued, on the basis that the district attorney believed that the ordinance Bass had violated was being amended to exempt him. 30. During the month of April 2011, Ms. Harrison coordinated a petition drive on

behalf of Ben and the other wild animals held at Jambbas Ranch. The petition urged the Cumberland County Commissioners to remove these animals from the inhumane conditions at Jambbas Ranch and allow them to be transferred to reputable sanctuaries. 31. On April 18, 2011, after the Cumberland County Commissioners amended the

prohibition on keeping wild animals to exempt Bass and Jambbas Ranch, Ms. Harrison spoke at the commissionersmeeting and asked them to reverse the amendment and to remove Ben and the other wild animals held at Jambbas Ranch from their inhumane conditions and allow them to be transferred to reputable sanctuaries. 32. On June 16, 2011, the Cumberland County District Attorney office dismissed s

the criminal charges against Bass that had arisen from Ms. Harrison January 2011 sworn s complaint, citing the recent amendment to the local ordinance. 33. On June 20, 2011, Ms. Harrison attended another county commissionersmeeting

on behalf of Ben and the other animals at Jambbas. She got other people to attend the meeting as well, and presented each commissioner with photographs of Ben and the other animals and their living conditions.

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34.

On January 23, 2012, Ms. Harrison and Colonel Ray filed the aforementioned

Complaint and Request for Permanent Injunction in the General Court of Justice of Cumberland County, North Carolina, against Jambbas Ranch Tours, Inc. and the owners and operators of Jambbas Ranch seeking injunctive relief to prevent Jambbas Ranch from further violating North Carolina animal welfare laws and to terminate Jambbas Ranch ownership and possessory s s rights in Ben the bear. 35. Ms. Harrison experienced distress and anguish as a result of her visits with Ben

and the other animals at Jambbas Ranch, and her observations of animals held in unnatural, inhumane conditions who were engaging in abnormal behaviors that are indicative of psychological anguish. The conditions in which these animals were maintained also impaired her aesthetic enjoyment of the animals. Ms. Harrison has experienced, and continues to experience, distress when she thinks of Ben and the other animals she has witnessed suffering at Jambbas Ranch. 36. Jambbas Ranch is a USDA-licensed facility and, as such, is subject to regulations,

inspections, and licensing requirements under the Animal Welfare Act. The USDA decision to s grant Jambbas Ranch a license under the Animal Welfare Act enables this facility to continue to operate and hold Ben and the other animals in inhumane conditions. In addition, without a USDA license Jambbas Ranch would be prohibited by local law from even possessing Ben, the fox, the raccoon, the alligator, and the deer, as Jambbas Ranch is only exempt from the local prohibition on possessing such animals because it is considered a zoo,which it cannot legally operate as under federal law without a USDA license. 37. Ms. Harrison has been and will continue to be injured by USDA decision to s

license Jambbas Ranch. She is emotionally and aesthetically injured by USDA unlawful s

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renewal of Jambbas Ranch license, knowing that Ben and the other animals are harmed s physically and emotionally by the conditions they are held in. The USDA decision to license s Jambbas Ranch violates Ms. Harrison aesthetic, recreational, personal, and educational s interests in seeing these animals in humane conditions. 38. Ms. Harrison would like very much to observe and visit Ben so that she can

continue her personal relationship with him. However, she is unable to do so without suffering more aesthetic and emotional injury, unless and until Ben is placed in a different, more humane, setting. If Ben and the other animals from Jambbas were transferred to a sanctuary or other place where they were no longer mistreated, Ms. Harrison would visit them as often as possible. C. 39. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA brings this action on its own behalf and on behalf of its more than three

million members and supporters. Since 2008 PETA has received at least nine complaints from the public regarding Jambbas Ranch, and since August 2010, PETA has filed numerous complaints with the USDA concerning the animals at Jambbas Ranch. PETA has requested that the USDA not renew the AWA license for this facility because of the conditions and treatment of the animals that are kept and exhibited there and because of various related legal violations. D. 40. Animal Legal Defense Fund ALDF brings this action on its own behalf and on behalf of its more than one

hundred and ten thousand members and supporters. ALDF spends substantial resources each year advocating on behalf of animals used for exhibition and entertainment. It files suits and administrative petitions, including filings directly related to Jambbas Ranch, and educates the public regarding various issues surrounding the use of animals in exhibition and entertainment. ALDF also maintains an active website for its members and the general public and it uses its

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website, publications, and the media to disseminate information to its members and the public about government actions affecting animals, including animals that are exhibited at roadside zoos. 41. Defendantsunlawful action in renewing Jambbas Ranch AWA license injures s

ALDF because it means that ALDF has had to continue spending resources monitoring the treatment and conditions of the animals there. Had the USDA not renewed Jambbas Ranch s AWA license, ALDF would not have to continue to spend such resources on monitoring the well-being of these animals and advocating on their behalf. Defendants 42. Defendant Thomas Vilsack is the Secretary of the U.S. Department of

Agriculture. The USDA is responsible for administering the Animal Welfare Act and ensuring the humane care and treatment of animals that are used for exhibition. The USDA is the federal agency responsible for the decision to renew Jambbas Ranch AWA license. As the Secretary s for the agency, Secretary Vilsack is ultimately responsible for that decision. 43. Defendant USDA is the agency responsible for administering the Animal Welfare

Act and ensuring the humane care and treatment of animals that are used for exhibition. The USDA is the federal agency responsible for the decision to renew Jambbas Ranch AWA s license. STATUTORY AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK A. 44. The Animal Welfare Act The AWA is set forth at 7 U.S.C. 2131-2159.

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45.

The purpose of the AWA is insure that animals intended for use in research to

facilities or for exhibition purposes or for use as pets are provided humane care and treatment. 7 U.S.C. 2131(1). 46. The AWA provides that no one may exhibit animals unless and until such dealer

or exhibitor shall have obtained a license.7 U.S.C. 2134. 47. The AWA further provides that no license shall be issued until the dealer or

exhibitor shall have demonstrated that his facilities comply with the standards promulgated by the Secretary pursuant to section [2143] of this [title]. 7 U.S.C. 2133. 48. Section 2143 of the AWA requires the USDA to promulgate standards to govern

the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of animals by dealers, research facilities, and exhibitors. 49. The AWA empowers the USDA to make such investigations or inspections as

[it] deems necessary to determine whether any dealer [or] exhibitor . . . has violated or is violating any provision of this [chapter] or any regulation or standard issued thereunder. 7 U.S.C. 2146. 50. 51. 52. 53. The AWA regulations are set forth at 9 C.F.R. 1.1 12.10. AWA regulations part 2, subpart A, govern licensing. Under the regulations, AWA licenses expire annually. Pursuant to the AWA and the USDA implementing regulations, any facility s

seeking to renew its AWA license must submit an application to do so to the agency. On that application, the applicant must certif[y] . . . , to the best of the applicant's knowledge and belief, he or she is in compliance with the regulations and standards and agrees to continue to comply with the regulations and standards. 9 C.F.R. 2.2.

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54.

Section 2.3 requires that each applicant must demonstrate that his or her

premises and any animals, facilities, vehicles, equipment, or other premises used or intended for use in the business comply with the regulations and standards set forth in parts 2 and 3 of this subchapter. 9 C.F.R. 2.3(a). B. 55. Cumberland County Law Until recently, section 3-12 of the Cumberland County Code provided:

It is unlawful to keep or harbor or breed or sell or trade any wild or exotic animal as a pet, for display or exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee, except as may be licensed by the state Wildlife Resources Commission under its regulations pertaining to wildlife rehabilitators. The section defined wild or exotic animalas: an animal which is usually not a domestic animal, which is capable of killing or inflicting serious injury on a human or livestock, and which can normally be found in the wild state, including, but not limited to, lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, wolves, foxes, coyotes, lynxes, or any hybrid of like animals, alligators, crocodiles, apes, foxes, elephants, rhinoceroses, bears, all forms of poisonous snakes, raccoons, skunks, monkeys, bats, and like animals. The section exempted circuses. 56. As recently amended, the Cumberland County Code still provides that it is

unlawful to keep, harbor, breed, sell or trade any wild or exotic animal for any purpose, except as may be licensed by the state Wildlife Resources Commission under its regulation pertaining to wildlife rehabilitators. Cumberland Cnty. Code 3-17(b). However, zoological parks, zoos, or educational or medical institutions which have registered with and obtained a permit from the

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Animal Control Director . . . or circuses that perform in Cumberland County for not more than seven (7) daysare now exempted from the prohibition. Id. 3-17(c). 57. Jambbas Ranch does not have a wildlife rehabilitator license from the state

Wildlife Resources Commission, and it is not a medical institution or circus. Nor is Jambbas Ranch an educational institution, as nothing at the facility provides any information or education about the species held there. Indeed, virtually all of the animal enclosures are referenced with numbers only, rather than any reference to the particular species. 58. Because Jambbas Ranch is not a state-licensed rehabilitator, medical or

educational institution, or circus, it can only keep wild animals, including for display or exhibition, if it is a zoological park or zoo. Without an AWA license, Jambbas Ranch cannot act as a zoological facility or zoo because it cannot exhibit animals. But for the USDA decision to s license Jambbas Ranch, then, the facility would not be able to keep or exhibit wild or exotic animals. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND 59. Between October 19, 2006 and February 7, 2012, the USDA inspected Jambbas

Ranch at least seventeen times. Over this five year period the agency found Jambbas Ranch compliant with AWA regulations only once while citing the facility twelve times for failure to provide adequate veterinary care and for twenty-one additional violations of the AWA, including unsanitary conditions, hazardous enclosures, and failure to supply sufficient quantities of food and potable water. 60. Jambbas Ranch has repeatedly falsely certified in permit applications that it is in

compliance with the AWA and its regulations.

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61.

On August 31, 2010, PETA filed a formal complaint with the USDA asking the

agency to investigate the following: several buffalo at Jambbas Ranch who were suffering from open, oozing wounds

that appeared untreated and were infested with maggots and flies; 62. several buffalo who appeared malnourished and underweight; another hooved animal who had a bloody wound on his/her side; and many animals whose water receptacles were filthy or empty. On September 2, 2010, in response to PETA complaint, the USDA inspected s

Jambbas Ranch and cited the facility for failing to comply with five separate AWA requirements, including three repeat violations. The USDA cited Jambbas Ranch for repeatedly failing to maintain programs of adequate veterinary care, noting numerous goats with overgrown hooves, bison with unhealthy skin and sparse to no fur on large portions of their backs, and swarms of flies attacking bison, causing them to lick their sides and flanks, ripping skin off and leaving raw patches of up to four inches. The USDA also cited Jambbas Ranch for exposing various animals to protruding nails and rusty, broken fencing with protruding wiring, another repeat violation; failure to adequately clean goat enclosures and forcing goats to live in enclosures covered with a layer of feces; water receptacles with algae growing on them, as well as excessively dirty water; and inadequate perimeter fencing. 63. The USDA again inspected Jambbas Ranch on December 2, 2010, at which time

Jambbas Ranch was cited for failing to provide two goats with adequate shelter from inclement weather. These goats had a shelterwith a roof but no sides, providing no protection from the wind on a near-freezing day.

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64.

In January 2011, James Bass was criminally charged with violations of the county

ordinance prohibiting the keeping of wild animals. 65. During a January 21, 2011, inspection of Jambbas Ranch, the USDA found a

dead, emaciated goat in a pasture, and another emaciated goat under whose tail there was an accumulation of feces. Because Jambbas Ranch had failed to identify either of these goats as suffering from a health problem, and neither was under any treatment, Jambbas Ranch was again cited for failing to provide adequate veterinary care. 66. The USDA returned to Jambbas Ranch on February 14, 2011, and again cited it

for failing to provide adequate veterinary care, this time noting that a goat was suffering excessive hair loss along the spine, hindquarters, and other areas of the body. The goat s exposed skin was thick and scaly, and the goat was observed scratching on a feeder. According to the USDA inspection report, Jambbas Ranch employees claimed that they had not noticed s this goat condition. s 67. On April 13, 2011, PETA submitted a request to the USDA that it not renew

Jambbas Ranch AWA license, noting and attaching the repeated citations for AWA violations, s and also noting that Jambbas Ranch was operating without valid state permits and licenses necessary to keep captive wild animals and endangered species, and that Bass was facing criminal charges for keeping wild animals in violation of a county ordinance. 68. On April 22, 2011, PETA submitted a supplement to its request to the USDA that

the agency not renew Jambbas Ranch AWA license. This supplement focused on concerns s about Ben the bear and detailed violations of the AWA pertinent to Ben, including failure to provide adequate space, failure to provide an appropriate diet, failure to provide potable water, and failure maintain professionally acceptable husbandry practices. PETA submission also s

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detailed recent observations related to other animals at Jambbas Ranch and additional AWA violations. 69. Four bear experts submitted statements to the USDA in support of PETA s

request that the agency not renew Jambbas Ranch license, detailing serious problems with s conditions and husbandry at Jambbas Ranch, and resultant physical and psychological harm to Ben. 70. The USDA responded to PETA April 13, 2011, request in a letter dated May 25, s

2011, wherein the agency stated, This facility is currently under investigation by Investigative and Enforcement Services for several direct and repeat noncompliant issues. The investigation is still open. 71. A directviolation of the AWA is the most serious kind of violation, one that

a high potential to have a serious, adverse impact on the health and well-being of the has animal(s). 72. Jambbas Ranch AWA license expired on May 4, 2011. At the time that s

Jambbas Ranch submitted its 2011 renewal application to the USDA, it was not in compliance with all applicable AWA regulations and standards, and hence it submitted a false certification to the agency. The agency also knew that Jambbas Ranch could not have truthfully certified to the contrary. 73. One of many concerns raised in the expert statements submitted to USDA was the

fact that Ben was forced to drink and bathe from a rusty trough. On May 9, 2011, the USDA ordered Jambbas Ranch to fix the rusty, deteriorating metal water trough used by Ben noting that the trough could give way or injure Ben when he stands in it and that it could not be adequately sanitized.

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74.

In contravention of the plain language of the AWA, which provides that no

license shall be issued until the . . . exhibitor shall have demonstrated that his facilities comply withsuch standards, 7 U.S.C. 2133, the USDA again renewed Jambbas Ranch license on or s about June 2, 2011. 75. Since renewing Jambbas Ranch license, the USDA has continued to cite the s

facility for AWA violations. One June 9, 2011, just one week after the USDA renewed Jambbas Ranch USDA license, PETA filed a complaint with the agency regarding a report and s photographs of a rabbit apparently suffering from severe torticollis commonly referred to as head tilt a distressing and potentially fatal condition. On July 11, 2011, long after this rabbit was reportedly destroyed,the USDA conducted a partial inspection of Jambbas to respond to PETA complaint. The agency cited Jambbas Ranch for failure to maintain the rabbit enclosures s in good repair, putting the animals at risk of injury, noting that the wire floor of a rabbit enclosure had completely rusted through, creating a hole in the cage. 76. On December 20, 2011, PETA filed a complaint with the USDA regarding animal

welfare concerns arising from recent visits to Jambbas Ranch, including Colonel Ray s December 9, 2011, visit. Amongst the issues raised was the fact that the raccoon tail and hind s legs were bald and that it appeared that this animal was not receiving adequate veterinary care, in violation of the AWA. On January 4, 2012, in response to PETA complaint, the USDA s inspected Jambbas Ranch and cited it for failure to provide adequate veterinary care to the raccoon, noting that a veterinarian had neither examined the animal nor prescribed treatment. The USDA also cited Jambbas Ranch for failing to provide veterinary care to a llama whose right eye socket had a thick creamy discharge,who appeared thin, and who had a large area

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of what appeared to be diarrhea on its back legs yet was not receiving veterinary care for any of these conditions. 77. As of April 8, 2012, Jambbas Ranch remained under formal investigation by the

USDA Investigative and Enforcement Services for numerous repeat and direct violations of the s AWA.

PLAINTIFFSCLAIM FOR RELIEF Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act 78. In renewing Jambbas Ranch license despite chronic and ongoing failure to s

comply with the AWA and its implementing regulations and Jambbas Ranch false s certifications to the USDA, defendants have acted in a manner that is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law, within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(A). The decision to renew Jambbas Ranch license also s exceeds the USDA statutory jurisdiction and authority, within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. s 706(2)(C). 79. The agency unlawful actions injure Plaintiffs in the manner specified in s

paragraphs 4-41 of this Complaint.

REQUESTED RELIEF WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court: 1. Declare that the Defendants have acted arbitrarily and capriciously and not in

accordance with law, have abused their discretion, and have exceeded their statutory jurisdiction and authority in making the decision to renew Jambbas Ranch AWA license; s

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2. license; 3. 4.

Set aside as unlawful the USDA decision to renew Jambbas Ranch AWA s s

Award Plaintiffs their reasonable attorneysfees and costs; and Grant such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

Dated: April 19, 2012 Respectfully submitted, MARTIN & JONES, PLLC s/ E. Spencer Parris E. Spencer Parris Attorney for Plaintiffs N.C. State Bar No. 11042 410 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 200 Raleigh, NC 27603 Telephone: (919) 821-0005 Facsimile: (919) 863-6071 Email: esp@m-j.com

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