RPC revokes exotic animal permit
Pahrump Nevada offers wide open land for horse stables, but what about tigers? Exotic animals have inhabited Pahrump for years now, but changes are coming.
The Pahrump Regional Preparing Commission voted 5- Wednesday to revoke Karl Mitchell’s conditional use permit for an animal sanctuary to home tigers and a liger at 6061 N. Woodchips Rd.
The RPC deadlocked three-3 last June on regardless of whether to grant the permit, then held one more vote Aug. 15 exactly where members voted 4-1 against it. But Nye County commissioners overrode the arranging board by a 3-two vote on Oct. 15.
Mitchell has a right to appeal the revocation to the county commission once again after this newest rejection. He has also threatened to sue the county.
A case was brought against Mitchell for violating the terms of his conditional use permit, which prohibits the sanctuary from getting open to the public or exhibiting animals. The RPC was furnished images of folks posing with Mitchell’s animals. He is also necessary to have permits from the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the USDA and other agencies.
Mitchell was supposed to appear at two prior revocation hearings ahead of the RPC considering that the beginning of the year but asked for continuances each and every time.
Robert Gibbens, director of the western region for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in an Oct. 22 letter to Commissioner Dan Schinhofen, mentioned Mitchell doesn’t possess a license beneath the Animal Welfare Act to exhibit his animals.
Mitchell was assessed a $ 16,775 penalty in 2001 for several violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In 2010, in an order denying a petition for reconsideration, he was assessed joint penalties of $ 67,000 for Animal Welfare Act violations and an further civil penalty of $ 19,500 for failure to cease and desist, Gibbens mentioned.
Men and women for the Ethical Remedy of Animals PETA issued a press release Tuesday urging the USDA to pursue criminal charges against Mitchell for disregarding federal law and public security, exhibiting his huge cats with out an exhibitor’s license. They wrote to the RPC to urge the board to revoke his permit.
“Of all the despicable animal exhibitors PETA has encountered, Karl Mitchell — who thumbs his nose at public security and the law every single time he exhibits a tiger — is one of the worst,” mentioned PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “The time for warnings and civil penalties has lengthy passed. The USDA should press criminal charges and Nye County wants to enforce the regional laws that make it illegal for Mitchell to have large cats in Pahrump.”
Mitchell read a ready statement Wednesday. He said the RPC demands to stick to its land use decisions.
“The topic property is appropriately zoned according to your county code and animal handle has inspected it,” Mitchell stated. “Our activities would not be the subject of scrutiny if we resided outside the purview of the RPC.”
Mitchell added, “it would appear to be an abuse of equal protection, an abuse of discretion and an abuse of the procedure to place the county in a position of carrying the water for the USDA.”
Mitchell mentioned the county violated his constitutional rights for creating USDA compliance an issue.
“The attempts to use the USDA letter is a slippery slope that will undoubtedly result in a lawsuit,” he stated.
“The letter from the USDA director does not constitute an indictment or charges,” he mentioned. “The cycle of animal rights group, jealous competitors generating complaints is a causal case for USDA to make an investigation.”
He stated a judge ruled in 2010 their activities on the Web didn’t constitute regulated activities. Because 2009 Mitchell stated he hasn’t received any charges or communication from the USDA.
His current look on NatGeo Wild was severely edited to escalate the USDA conflict, Mitchell mentioned. If they have to comply with regulations, Mitchell stated his wife Kayla qualifies for a license.
“We live in an location that borders Pahrump planning and ought to be exempt. This continued harassment and bullying has resulted in my PTSD worsening, leaving me anxious and fearful of what you guys will pull next,” Mitchell said.
“Compliance with USDA with non-regulated activities places the county in a position to defend arbitrary and capricious actions,” Mitchell stated.
PETA said Mitchell’s internet site advertised direct contact with harmful large cats, in violation of federal law. Kayla Mitchell stated their web site has been updated and does not contain any invitation for the public. As a result, she stated, they’re not topic to regulation.
PETA mentioned Mitchell made threatening remarks about the USDA for the duration of an episode of National Geographic’s Animal Intervention when he said, “those people could not ever come right here without having possessing 1 of these tigers consume them” and if a person attempted to take his cats, he’d shoot them.
The discussion became a small testy when Mitchell questioned whether the RPC had a quorum. RPC Chairman Terry Hand resigned and the Pahrump Town Board has but to appoint a liaision right after town board Chair Harley Kulkin was not too long ago rejected by the county commission. RPC member John Koenig said they had a quorum and reminded Mitchell his board has the authority to situation conditional use permits.
“He who giveth can take it away,” Koenig said.
Mitchell mentioned, “Nobody is difficult your right, what we’re challenging is no matter whether you’re proper in performing something like that.”
Linda Halko Crossley stated Mitchell’s sanctuary, which is located on the property of Ray “The Flagman” Mielzynski, has disrupted her neighborhood. She stated the residents were never notified, Organizing Director Steve Osborne mentioned he notified individuals 500 feet away about the conditional use permit.
It is positioned on 18 acres zoned rural homestead.
“I came here to Pahrump to go ahead and have a ranch and have horses and I’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s just significantly less than a mile from where he’s temporarily housing his wild cats,” Crossley stated.
“They’re disrupting the neighborhood, they’re disrupting my horses, find a different temporary holding location for his cats,” she said.
Crossley said she knows performers like Siegfried and Roy who had a show involving massive cats.
“The cats have got to go. My horses are stressed out to the hilt. They smell blood, they smell urine. Yesterday there was a pack of six coyotes circling amongst my barn and the neighbors she has a 3-year-old kid and she was screaming,” Crossley said.
The property isn’t zoned for wild cats, she said. A tiny girl can not even ride her bike for worry a cat will get loose, although her dogs are a nervous wreck.
“There’s children out there, there’s horses out there, I want my ranch back and I want my overall health back just as much as he does. I want those cats gone,” Crossley said.
John Bushko, a volunteer with Mitchell’s Big Cat Encounters, countered there are horse corrals on their ranch. They use it as a staging location for horse rescues for Diane Davis and Dream Chaser Horse Ranch, he stated.
“A lot of county commissioners have visited, they will tell you it’s a peaceful location,” Bushko said.
Mitchell stated he received emails from neighbors, 1 neighbor said they had been very content with the animals being there.
Mitchell concluded: “If a person else is upset I’m sorry but I don’t believe it is the tigers’ fault. The bottom line is we’re not involved in any regulated activities. We’re at odds with the USDA and we will continue to be at odds as lengthy as animal rights men and women make complaints. Those complaints have to be checked out. But because 2009 there’s not been one particular issue with USDA that’s been presented to us.”
RPC member Greg Hafen II asked Mitchell to explain the photos of him exhibiting the animals on Facebook.
“It was a private photo shoot carried out on my home which is permitted. If you have pets you can do a private photo shoot, particularly if you are not performing it for commerce,” he stated. “It’s exhibiting when you are involved in commerce, when there’s funds paid or something given to you.”
Koenig didn’t get a motion to revoke the permit at 1st and it appeared to fail. Sooner or later Hafen got planning staff to clarify they recommended the revocation and created the motion to revoke, based on the USDA letter and other findings.