November 6th, 2013 by Deborah Robinson
The notorious Lance Ramos Kollman has flagrantly ignored the law for years and now he’ll have to answer to federal charges. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finally filed charges against Kollman for numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including:
- Operating as a dealer despite the termination of his USDA license;
- Failing to handle an animal carefully in a way that does not cause behavioral stress, by forcing a visibly emaciated elephant named Ned to travel, perform and give rides;
- Failing to provide adequate veterinary care to Ned, and to a lion and a tiger who exhibited signs of lameness and distress.
Kollman has long been on IDA’s radar and the subject of numerous complaints. You may remember that back in 2008, the USDA confiscated Ned from Kollman after IDA uncovered photos of him, emaciated, forced to perform and give rides, and chained to a dumpster. IDA filed an urgent USDA complaint and, within weeks, Ned was confiscated and taken to The Elephant Sanctuary. Sadly, Ned was too damaged by years of abuse and neglect; despite the sanctuary’s heroic efforts, he died six months later.
In 2010, IDA also brought to light shady dealings between Kollman, whose license to exhibit animals had been revoked in 2009, and a number of other exhibitors, allowing his tigers, llamas, zebras and camels to perform with several circuses. Some of the exhibitors were unlicensed and lacking the experience to safely handle dangerous wild animals, putting the animals and the public at risk so that Kollman could profit.
The USDA charges claim that these and Kollman’s other unlawful activities violated a cease and desist order and that Kollman is therefore subject to penalties of $1650 for each day of every offense. This could result in over a million dollars assessed against Kollman, which IDA hopes would effectively put him out of business once and for all.
Photo Credit: The Elephant Sanctuary