31 signatures collected
PETITION TARGETS: United States Department of Agriculture, Major and Minor League Baseball Associations, NFL Headquarters, National Basketball Association, NASCAR
Tiny monkeys are forced to wear cowboy costumes and hang on to dogs running at speeds of up to 30 mph to “entertain” screaming crowds numbering in the thousands.
In the grotesque “monkey rodeo,” operated by USDA licensee Tim Lepard, capuchin monkeys hang on for dear life to border collies who chasing terrified sheep across the estates during shows for major headliners – including members of the Major and Minor League Baseball Associations, National Football League, National Basketball Association and NASCAR – as well as for local events.
Leading primate experts, including the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance and the human society, condemned the unnatural activity, which they warned could lead to whippings and woundsas well as terrorfor innocent monkeys.
In addition to inherent cruelty rodeo itself, life spent on the road can be dangerous and deadly for animals, who do not choose to be there.
One year, all animals of Lepard died of carbon monoxide poisoning after his truck loses its muffler and the trailer fills up with deadly gasoline, according to reports.
Disasters aside, animals endure grueling schedule of travel and performance – with Lepard boasting about the news he made 47 shows in 15 days a year and that he and the animals are on the road more than 300 days a year.
This travel schedule means Lepard isn’t home much for federal inspectors tasked with enforcing minimum animal welfare standards – with public documents showing inspectors were unable to complete three of their four last inspection attempts.
Traveling also means these poor animals – including a 28-year-old white-throated capuchin monkey who is said to have been “riding” since the age of 2 – spend much of their lives in sterile enclosures that have not always satisfied to welfare standards.
Federal inspectors cited Lepard in 2016 for housing four capuchins in metal enclosures with insufficient space.
But it wasn’t his first or only violation: He was also cited for improper veterinary care, using heartworm preventative medication intended for horses on his dogs without being sure of the correct dose, incomplete records and closing issues, according to public records documents. .
When last federally inspected in April 2022, Lepard was cited for seven violations, including giving his dogs expired heartworm medication and unapproved parasite treatments, not having a veterinarian on site for about two years, incomplete medical and acquisition records and a missing key. components of its written care plan – including requirements for an annual veterinary examination, a parasite treatment and sampling program, and preventative care.
While Lepard claimed on the news that he treats his animals like “family”the news reported that his hands are “visibly scarred from entanglements of past and present uncooperative monkeysand that he relocate your border collies after they served him.
Overall, the USDA cited Lepard with 17 violations covering nine of its 13 most recent inspections — or 69% — but it continues to operate to this day.
Helpless animals should never be forced to perform unnatural and terrifying stunts for profit or the “entertainment” of people. These inhuman monkey rodeos must stop immediately.
Sign our petition calling on the USDA to immediately conduct an animal welfare inspection and relocate any suffering animals to a reputable sanctuary, and on the major sporting organizations whose members hosted Team Ghost Riders to do all they can to ban this horrific act – including publicly and resolutely condemning this brutality.