Stop Letting Animal Abusers Get Away With Their Crimes

Target: Thomas J. Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture

Goal: Demand authorities stop allowing animal abusers to keep their animals.

An ongoing debacle with a reportedly abusive chinchilla breeder has demonstrated openly, yet plainly, the failure of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to successfully enforce the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). For many years, the USDA had apparently reported extensive bouts of animal suffering during routine inspections of a Minnesota chinchilla breeding facility. Chinchillas at the location, most of which were to be shipped off to labs to be experimented on, were reportedly documented with swollen, weeping eyes. Many were apparently dead.

One chinchilla, was apparently documented as thin, unresponsive, and missing part of her leg, and was allegedly killed by having her neck broken.

Still, despite multiple AWA violations, no chinchillas were confiscated from the venue. Though a case was filed in 2018, a whopping five years after initial violations had been documented, against the breeder’s operator, Daniel Moulton, the case didn’t even appear in court until 2021. Although Moulton’s license was revoked, he was fined a measly $18,000 and was able to keep nearly 700 chinchillas until 2022, at which point they were then confiscated for further alleged animal welfare violations.

Cases like this are not uncommon. Sign this petition to demand the USDA do more to enforce animal welfare legislation and protect animals at breeders, and other regulated institutions.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

There are various cases demonstrating the USDA’s slow and, many times, ineffective responses to animal cruelty. One such example is that of a Minnesota chinchilla farm, which had been flagged by the USDA for years before action was ever taken. During routine inspections, USDA officials reported extreme suffering of chinchillas at the facility, animals were described as having swollen eyes and crying out. Many chinchillas were dead, per reports, and one thin, unresponsive chinchilla who was apparently missing part of her leg was seemingly “euthanized” by having her neck snapped.

Despite apparent violations to the Animal Welfare Act starting in 2014, the USDA failed to file a case against the breeding facility operator until 2018, allowing the chinchillas to apparently suffer for another five years. The case didn’t appear in court until 2021 and, while the owner’s license was revoked, he was only fined $18,000 and was allowed to keep over 700 chinchillas in his care until they were eventually confiscated one year later due to further alleged violations.

It took an entire 8 years to save these animals. We are asking you, Mr. Vilsack, to confiscate suffering animals and report violations of the Animal Welfare Act immediately to ensure animal safety. It’s time animal abusers are held accountable.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cat19y


  1. these career bureaucrats need to get off their asses and start earning their pay. put laws in place to stop this nonsense. honestly though how can we expect the same people who are creating a lawless society in America speak out for innocent animals. we have doctors who took an oath to save lives agreeing to abort a baby after it’s born. anywhere else in this world that is murder. in a great country like America i can’t believe the callousness of society. these people have seriously lost their path and i hope will find it again before it’s too late!

    • Ashley Swinney says:

      Well said Lou. Really great points and there are tons of us who would love to know..when laws will change to hold all people accountable according to their actions. All violent offenders (regardless of victims) punished the same..and a registry for these guilty people so we know who are neighbors are. Stop giving people a pass and make them P.A.Y.

    • It is literally impossible to ‘abort a baby’ after it’s born. Tossing in ridiculous statements that do not pertain to the petition isn’t helpful and degrades the argument.

      • i suggest you stop watching cnn and watch real news. it’s liberal views like yours that create this mess. the liberal dems want abortion up until the time of birth so know what your talking about before you type. there are doctors on board with this evil as well, and as far as being off topic the cruelty to animals is almost tied to cruelty to humans as well. it starts with animals and progresses to people. you know those famous animal lovers, dahmer, bundy, etc..

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