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Lazy 5 Ranch responds to USDA complaints of animal welfare violations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed a complaint saying Lazy 5 Ranch in western Rowan County violated the Animal Welfare Act.

Filed on Oct. 1, the complaint says Henry Hampton, owner of Lazy 5 Ranch and The Farm at Walnut Creek in Ohio, violated USDA regulations on veterinary care.

The 12 violations listed included:

• Failing to provide care for a pregnant camel with labored breathing and swelling in the facial area and feet.

• Permitting the public to feed animals from their cars without an attendant present.

• Lacking shelter for animals from heavy rain.

• Failing to provide care for a giraffe with overgrown hooves.

The complaint cited 44 violations at Ohio zoo.

The complaints were dated 2015 and 2017.

In an email, Lazy 5 Ranch responded to the complaint.

“Lazy 5 Ranch is and has been working extremely close with the USDA to discuss their past interpretation of regulations and our future working relationship,” the statement says. “According to very recent comments from the USDA, there has never been a problem with the actual care of our animals but rather our documentation and record-keeping. We have received two ‘no noncompliant items’ inspection reports in March 2018 and today, Oct. 17, 2018.

“As always, we encourage our visitors to come and visit the animals and ask our staff if there are any questions or concerns,” the statement says. 

The animal rights group PETA filed a lawsuit against the USDA in May in reference to both Lazy 5 Ranch and The Farm at Walnut Creek.

Lazy 5 Ranch was open Wednesday.

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