USDA files civil lawsuit against Michigan animal farm “Even Keel Exotics”

Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 7:00 AM EDT
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TEMPERANCE, Michigan (WTVG) - The USDA recently filed a civil lawsuit against the animal farm, Even Keel Exotics, in Temperance, MI, for allegedly violating the Animal Welfare Act.

According to the 45-page complaint submitted by the USDA, officials are only using reports against Keeler from the last two years.

The complaint says he has violated the animal welfare act in several ways including, “failing to grant APHIS officials access to the Even Keel Exotics facility 13 out of the 23 times APHIS officials have attempted to inspect the facility.”

It also says Keeler has failed to meet minimum standards for handling each animal, citing the footage 13 Action News captured at even keel exotics back in December. The complaint says “Inspectors noted Keeler recognized the animal did not want to be handled, however, he continued to struggle with the animal for an additional 10-15 seconds, resulting in the animal suffering from a bloody nose from hitting his nose on the ground during the struggle.”

We reached out to Keeler and his attorney by email, for comment on the case, but neither of them replied. Action News also emailed a spokesperson with the USDA. He said they cannot comment because of the open investigation.

Fox expert and owner of Foxes Journey Sanctuary, Jennifer Patton, says she is just one of the many people who have been waiting a long time for the USDA to take action against Keeler.

“He’s a cancer in the exotic animals. That’s why we exist, is to give these animals a lifetime of proper care and home because people like Even Keel exist,” said Patton.

An official court date has not been set yet.

This is a developing story.

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