Wonderful World of Animals (Joe Frisco) - Complaint Letter to USDA - 12 Apr 2010
Captive Wildlife Advocacy

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Wonderful World of Animals (Joe Frisco) - Complaint Letter to USDA - 12 Apr 2010

April 12, 2010

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyre
Regional Director
920 Main Campus Dr., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606-5210

Sent by email to:
[email protected]

Dear Dr. Goldentyre,

As representative for SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now!), I am requesting an investigation and immediate action taken concerning licensee Joe Frisco, AKA Terry Frisco, AKA Wonderful World of Animals, AKA Frisco Brothers Petting Zoo, AKA Gary Lusk concerning the recent death of trainer Andrew Anderton in Wilkes Barre, PA.

License# 33-C-0002
Joe Frisco
Wonderful World of Animals
4821 Alta Lane
Peoria IL 61615

Documentation concerning the African bush elephant “Dumbo” and the trainers involved show another incident occurring in AL where the IACUC became involved when protocols were violated and a member of the public was injured with a broken hand or wrist after touching the elephant during a ride session. During this recent Shrine Circus, Dumbo killed trainer Andrew Anderton and news sources attribute this to Dumbo being shocked by an electrical wire.

An investigation should begin immediately concerning any electrical burns suffered by the elephant Dumbo and the location of such burns on the elephant’s body. Location of such burns will determine the cause, whether from a live electrical cord or another possible source such as a taser or electrical prod.

Immediate confiscation and retirement of Dumbo should be sought due to the previous incident and violations of handling regulations. We assume that the licensee Joe Frisco will be the responsible party even though an inspection report dated Feb. 12, 2009 states that without notification Gary Lusk was placed in charge of Dumbo at the winterquarters in Balm, Florida. Gary Lusk was at that time added as co-owner of the business and was in charge of traveling exhibitions.

Possible violations of the AWA, regulations and standards are as follows:

Sec. 2.131 Handling of animals.

(a) All licensees who maintain wild or exotic animals must demonstrate adequate experience and knowledge of the species they maintain.

(b)(1) Handling of all animals shall be done as expeditiously and carefully as possible in a manner that does not cause trauma, overheating, excessive cooling, behavioral stress, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort.

(2)(i) Physical abuse shall not be used to train, work, or otherwise handle animals.

(ii) Deprivation of food or water shall not be used to train, work, or otherwise handle animals; Provided, however, That the short-term withholding of food or water from animals by exhibitors is allowed by these regulations as long as each of the animals affected receives its full dietary and nutrition requirements each day.

(c)(1) During public exhibition, any animal must be handled so there is minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public, with sufficient distance and/or barriers between the animal and the general viewing public so as to assure the safety of animals and the public.

(2) Performing animals shall be allowed a rest period between performances at least equal to the time for one performance.

(3) Young or immature animals shall not be exposed to rough or excessive public handling or exhibited for periods of time which would be detrimental to their health or well-being.

(4) Drugs, such as tranquilizers, shall not be used to facilitate, allow, or provide for public handling of the animals.

(d)(1) Animals shall be exhibited only for periods of time and under conditions consistent with their good health and well-being.

(2) A responsible, knowledgeable, and readily identifiable employee or attendant must be present at all times during periods of public contact.

(3) During public exhibition, dangerous animals such as lions, tigers, wolves, bears, or elephants must be under the direct control and supervision of a knowledgeable and experienced animal handler.

(4) If public feeding of animals is allowed, the food must be provided by the animal facility and shall be appropriate to the type of animal and its nutritional needs and diet.

(e) When climatic conditions present a threat to an animal's health or well-being, appropriate measures must be taken to alleviate the impact of those conditions. An animal may never be subjected to any combination of temperature, humidity, and time that is detrimental to  the animal's health or well-being, taking into consideration such factors as the animal's age, species, breed, overall health status, and acclimation.

[54 FR 36147, Aug. 31, 1989, as amended at 63 FR 10498, Mar. 4, 1998; 69 FR 42102, July 14, 2004]

Sec. 2.3 Demonstration of compliance with standards and regulations.

(a) 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. Each applicant
for an initial license or license renewal must make his or her animals, premises, facilities, vehicles, equipment, other premises, and records available for inspection during business hours and at other times mutually agreeable to the applicant and APHIS, to ascertain the applicant's compliance with the standards and regulations.

(b) Each applicant for an initial license must be inspected by APHIS and demonstrate compliance with the regulations and standards, as  required in paragraph (a) of this section, before APHIS will issue a license. If the first inspection reveals that the applicant's animals,
premises, facilities, vehicles, equipment, other premises, or records do not meet the requirements of this subchapter, APHIS will advise the applicant of existing deficiencies and the corrective measures that must be completed to come into compliance with the regulations and standards. An applicant who fails the first inspection will have two additional chances to demonstrate his or her compliance with the regulations and standards through a second inspection by APHIS. The applicant must request the second inspection, and if applicable, the third inspection, within 90 days following the first inspection. If the applicant fails inspection or fails to request reinspections within the 90-day period, he or she will forfeit the application fee and cannot reapply for a license for a period of 6 months from the date of the failed third inspection or the expiration of the time to request a third inspection. Issuance of a license will be denied until the applicant demonstrates upon inspection that the animals, premises, facilities, vehicles, equipment, other premises, and records are in compliance with all regulations and standards in this subchapter.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number

[54 FR 36147, Aug. 31, 1989, as amended at 69 FR 42100, July 14, 2004]

Sec. 2.126 Access and inspection of records and property.

(a) Each dealer, exhibitor, intermediate handler, or carrier, shall, during business hours, allow APHIS officials:

(1) To enter its place of business;

(2) To examine records required to be kept by the Act and the regulations in this part;

(3) To make copies of the records;

(4) To inspect and photograph the facilities, property and animals, as the APHIS officials consider necessary to enforce the provisions of the Act, the regulations and the standards in this subchapter; and (5) To document, by the taking of photographs and other means, conditions and areas of noncompliance.

(b) The use of a room, table, or other facilities necessary for the proper examination of the records and inspection of the property or animals must be extended to APHIS officials by the dealer, exhibitor, intermediate handler or carrier, and a responsible adult shall be made available to accompany APHIS officials during the inspection process.

[54 FR 36147, Aug. 31, 1989, as amended at 69 FR 42102, July 14, 2004]

Leased Animals
Animal Care Resource Guide
Issue Date: April 14, 1997
AC 4.1
Subject: Use of Leased Animals by Licensees Policy #4
References: AWA Sections 12, 13
9 CFR, Part 2, Section 2.6

History: This replaces the March 6, 1992 memo entitled “Use of Leased or Rented Animals by Licensees.”

Justification: When leased animals are used by another licensee, the responsible party or parties need(s) to be consistently identified in the event of alleged Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations involving those animals. This policy serves to clarify this issue.

Policy: Animals are subject to AWA jurisdiction when they are used in regulated activities. Animals that are leased are still regulated, even if they are not in the custody of their owners. Both lessee and lessor must be licensed, as indicated in 9 CFR, Section 2.6, which describes that lessee and lessor shall both pay a fee as dealer, or lessee and lessor shall both include the animals held when calculating the required fees as an exhibitor.

Exhibitors and dealers must keep records which identify animals they own, hold for others, or keep in their possession or under their control.

The Regional Director is authorized to grant an exemption from licensing when issuing a license would not effectuate the purposes of the Animal Welfare Act, e.g., one-time use of a non-performing animal for the purpose of making an advertisement.

Please begin an investigation concerning these violations immediately and confiscate this
animal for retirement.

IACUC minutes
News story from AL

Donald W. Elroy
Director of Captive Wildlife Advocacy
Stop Animal Exploitation Now!
(865) 286-9082
[email protected]
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