The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Babby Farms with an Official Warning for violating the Animal Welfare Act.
Babby Farms is a roadside zoo located in Caldwell, Idaho, that is owned by Cheryl Harris. The facility is USDA licensed under the name Trace Inc./Cheryl Fullilove. In November 2021, Roadside Zoo News spoke with several former Babby Farms employees who said they witnessed animal neglect at the facility and they alleged that many animals had died in inadequate conditions without access to appropriate diets.
The former Babby Farms employees started a petition to shut down the roadside zoo which has amassed more than 16,000 signatures.
USDA Inspector Brian Hood has inspected Babby Farms at each of their eight USDA inspections since 2014. In October 2021, Roadside Zoo News submitted a detailed complaint to the USDA about the conditions at the roadside zoo. Hood inspected Babby Farms on Jan. 6, 2022.
Hood noted in his inspection report that Babby Farm’s primate enclosures do not have a public barrier where the walkway is and “the primates do reach out and make contact with the public.”
The only barrier preventing the public from making contact with a bobcat is “one strand of rope attached to fence posts approximately 18 inches from the enclosure.”
A Babby Farms representative admitted to Hood that two children had been taken to the hospital after being bitten by a lemur and a coatimundi at the facility.
Babby Farms was cited with one non-critical violation and one critical violation at the January inspection.
On February 17, the USDA upgraded the critical violation to an Official Warning which notes that the facility must handle their animals so there is minimal risk of harm to the animal and to the public.
The Official Warning indicates that If the USDA finds evidence of any future violations of regulations at Babby Farms, the agency may pursue civil penalties, criminal prosecution or other sanctions.