CHATFIELD — A USDA administrative law judge revoked the license of Chatfield chinchilla breeder Dan Moulton on Friday, Oct. 8, for the more than 100 Animal Welfare Act violations he's been cited for by the USDA since 2013, according to the Animal Welfare Institute.
The decision was made by Judge Jill Clifton at the conclusion of a federal hearing that lasted 18 days. Moulton also was fined $18,000.
The USDA in 2018 filed a complaint against the Moulton Chinchilla Ranch, which has about 750 chinchillas and sells them to research facilities around the country, for "willfully violating" the Animal Welfare Act between 2013 and 2018.
Moulton, of Rochester, told the Post Bulletin in June that he was denying the complaint as well as objecting to "the behavior of the USDA."
The Animal Welfare Act became law in 1966 and established requirements concerning the transportation, sale and handling of certain animals, according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's website.
The USDA complaint cited more than 100 violations from inspection reports dating from 2013 to 2018. Moulton said he had filed several responses and appeals to the citations.
The violations ranged from failing to seek veterinary care for chinchillas with open wounds and sores, to chinchillas unable to open their eyes due to swelling and “crusty” material.
The complaint also listed the ranch’s enclosures as violating regulations. A 2014 inspection found the decomposing body of a deceased newborn chinchilla under an enclosure and buried in waste.
Several USDA “focused inspections,” in which the USDA comes to a property to inspect a previous citation, showed Moulton corrected or addressed some of the citations.
Moulton could not be reached for comment.