Popular Oswald’s Bear Ranch in U.P. Under Federal Investigation
Oswald's Bear Ranch in the Upper Peninsula may be in some serious trouble. Not just any trouble, but trouble with the Federal Government.
It appears the United States Department of Agriculture has filed a complaint against the Oswald’s in regard to the care and protection of their bears. The USDA has alleged that its owners, Dean Oswald and Jewel Oswald, willfully violated the "Animal Welfare Act.”
In the filing, dated September 17, 2021, the USDA notes the violations against Oswald’s include failing “to provide outdoor housing that was structurally sound and in good repair” and failing “to provide wholesome, palatable food free from contamination and of sufficient nutritive value” to the bears at their facility.
The complaint also alleges Oswald’s of not properly feeding the animals, saying in its complaint that the bears were fed “restaurant scraps, donated meat, produce and dog food.”
Oswald's Bear Ranch did respond the complaint and disputes the allegations. Oswald's commented to TV6;
“Oswald’s Bear Ranch looks forward to it’s American justice ‘Day in Court’ to refute allegations now being rehashed and instigated by animal rights groups. Our legal team of, Fraser Trebilcock of Lansing is confident that we will prevail in showing that Oswald’s Bear Ranch has always abided by the rules of the federal (AWA) Animal Welfare Act."
Their statement went on to say;
“The federal inspector’s latest findings document NO areas of noncompliance. Oswald’s Bear Ranch will continue to provide the finest natural environments and care for our rescued bears. Conservation and safety is our primary focus as ‘Animal-Visitor Interactions’ continue to be a favorite family friendly activity.”
Oswald's Bear Ranch, located near Newberry, has always been a popular tourist attraction in the U.P. The ranch that was founded in 1997 offer up close and personal interaction with over 40 roaming bears. The ranch found themselves under fire in 2017 from PETA for claims of unethical treatment of animals.