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For Release: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DEC Investigation Leads to Seizure of Illegally Possessed Animals at Sinclairville Facility

Twenty Illegally Possessed Animals Taken from JNK's Call of the Wild Sanctuary

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) seized 20 illegally possessed animals from JNK's Call of the Wild Sanctuary, located in Sinclairville, New York (JNK Facility) on Tuesday, May 27th in a joint effort with the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The animals included 12 tigers, 3 lions, 3 bears and 2 wolves.

"Ending the illegal possession of dangerous, wild and exotic animals, and ensuring the safety of the public is a top priority for DEC," said Regional Director Abby Snyder. "I would like to thank our federal partner, USDA, and especially the tremendous efforts and assistance provided by IFAW in locating the several organizations that agreed to permanently house the animals."

The animals have been permanently placed with several licensed facilities located outside of New York State. The placement facilities include the Exotic Feline Rescue Center; Big Cat Rescue; Safe Haven Rescue Zoo; InSync Exotics; Wild Animal Sanctuary; and the Wolf Sanctuary of PA.

DEC is proceeding with enforcement against owners of the animals and the JNK Facility.

USDA Animal Welfare Act licenses and DEC special licenses are required for the possession, importation and sale of certain non-native wild animals for designated purposes, such as exhibition and education. The JNK Facility cancelled the USDA license in February 2014 and DEC denied the renewal of the JNK Facility's state special licenses in March 2014. Three of the past four USDA inspections of the JNK Facility during the term of the USDA license were deemed unsatisfactory with several repeat deficiencies related to housing and care of the animals.

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