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BEARCAT disputes PETA's claims

From staff reports

RACINE -- The owners of BEARCAT Hollow animal park said they dispute comments made about them last week by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

In a three-paragraph statement issued Sept. 13, co-owner Nancy Kraft said she strongly disagrees with PETA's allegation that the park has shown a "chronic inability" to comply with federal safety standards.

"To the contrary, we are vigilant about the safety of our animals, our volunteers and our guests," Kraft said. "Indeed, in our most recent USDA inspection, which took place on July 15, 2002, no regulatory violations were observed."

On Sept. 5, PETA sent letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Racine City Council members seeking the closure of BEARCAT Hollow.

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PETA spokeswoman Amy Rhodes said the letters were sent in response to a series of incidents at the animal park, including a monkey biting a park volunteer in August, a bear cub escaping in December 2001 and a tiger attacking in July 2001.

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