IONIA COUNTY, MI – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked the Ionia County Attorney to investigate a government report of hamsters and guinea pigs living in filthy and unsafe conditions.
The facility is in Ionia.
“PETA urges investigators to visit the facility with a veterinarian who specializes in the health and welfare of exotic small mammals so that they can identify any animals in need of care and rule on the conditions of and for the animals there. low,” PETA’s Daniel Paden. wrote the Cruelty Investigations Department in a letter to Ionia County District Attorney Kyle Butler.
Butler, who was on trial this week, said he received the letter from PETA. He feared the information would be shared with the media just as his office was alerted.
Paden said the U.S. Department of Agriculture, during a Jan. 19 inspection, “found ‘petrified dead hamsters’ in more than 50 enclosures at the facility. About 190 cages housing hamsters and guinea pigs were “excessively full of feces and urine”, and the majority of the cages – housing more than 1,500 hamsters in total – contained “more feces…than litter”.
The Department of Agriculture report says the license holder said two workers who usually clean the paddocks had not been available for work for a month.
The license holder told an investigator that she could only continue to feed and water the animals unaided, according to the report.
The holder could not be reached.
Hamsters have been described in reports as a “common type of pet/research animal”.
An investigator wrote: “Even through the surgical mask worn for the inspection, the smell of ammonia and rotting animals is overwhelming in the building containing the hamsters, guinea pigs, chinchillas and degus.”
An animal care inspector said in April that some hamsters were still being kept in crowded conditions and some areas needed extra cleaning with six degus – a rodent native to Chile – unable to move around an enclosure without walking through the feces, according to reports.
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