The number of remaining “Class B” random source dog and cat dealers selling animals for experimentation in the United States has just been reduced to five. On January 15, 2014, a consent decision and order was reached between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Kenneth Schroeder, a dealer who had been operating in Wells, Minnesota. Although we are sorely disappointed that no fine was imposed, Schroeder’s license was revoked, effective immediately.
AWI contacted USDA this past summer, objecting to Schroeder’s apparent longstanding, repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and expressing the need for action. On September 10, 2013, USDA filed a complaint against Schroeder, stating that he “operates a large business dealing in dogs. The gravity of the violations alleged in this complaint is great.... Respondent has failed to comply with the Regulations for a lengthy period of time, and has not shown good faith.” USDA specifically alleged that the dealer 1) on eight occasions, failed to have someone present at his operation to permit inspection of his facilities, animals and records; 2) on five occasions, illegally acquired a total of seven dogs; 3) twice “failed to remove excreta and waste from primary enclosures” as required under the Animal Welfare Act; and 4) most recently, was found to have housing facilities that were rusted and chewed and could not be properly cleaned. Failing to have someone present so that USDA can conduct a compliance inspection is an all-too-commonly used ploy to evade USDA inspection, and illegal acquisition of animals by Class B dealers is such a serious problem that AWI has worked resolutely to stop this trade.