Animals of Montana has federal license revoked by USDA

Posted at 10:26 AM, Oct 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-24 12:26:07-04

BOZEMAN — Animals of Montana (AOM), a Bozeman-based business that provides animals for filmmaking and photo shoots, had its federal license revoked by the USDA on Oct. 6, 2023, following a complaint from PETA alleging the business has garnered numerous violations of state and federal animal welfare regulations.

The move comes three years after AOM lost its appeal to a 2017 decision by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) to revoke AOM's permit in the state. FWP found in its investigation that AOM had committed 22 violations of Montana rules and regulations.

PETA's complaint argued that due to AOM's violations of state and federal laws "pertaining to transportation, ownership, neglect, or welfare of animals," the business should have its federal license likewise revoked.

PETA filed its complaint in June 2023. The USDA gave AOM multiple opportunities to object to PETA's allegations, but according to court documents AOM did not file any objections or respond to the complaint.

AOM is considered a roadside menagerie and at one time claimed ownership of a grizzly bear, black bears, coyotes, gray wolves, bobcats, lynxes, a Siberian lynx, a badger, red foxes, a pine marten, porcupines, fishers, and a black leopard.

During a 2015 inspection, FWP found numerous violations, including transporting animals outside the facility to a photoshoot for which there was no FWP authorization, using a weed-whacker to scare a tiger into moving, multiple insufficiently secure cages, unroofed cages, multiple failures to padlock cages, insufficient availability of fresh water, and multiple cases of cramped or unsanitary cages.