Had it not been for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, federal investigators might never have known about conditions inside U.S. Global Exotics, the “massive international exotic-animal wholesale facility in Arlington” raided on December 15. For seven months, PETA had a man on the inside gathering evidence that owners Jasen and Vanessa Shaw were allowing tens of thousands of exotic animals to live — and, in most instances, die slow, horrible deaths — in what PETA calls “continuous, cruel confinement.” As a result, U.S. Global Exotics was shut down — and now, Jasen Shaw’s on the run, a fugitive from federal authorities who allege, among other things, that he violated the Lacey Act.
Following this morning’s story about Shaw’s apparent run to his native New Zealand, PETA’s David Perle, in its D.C. office, directs our attention to its newly updated Web site filled with graphic, often grisly, footage — the very evidence it used to convince federal authorities to raid the facility shortly before Christmas. The special section devoted to U.S. Global Exotics is called “To Hell and Back: A Journey Inside the Pet Trade,” and, fair warning, it lives up to its name.