USDA closes animal supplier

Kennel accused of selling stolen pets, abuse and neglect.
Friday, February 4, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:05 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

The U.S. Department of Agriculture revoked the license of an animal dealer that supplied animals to MU and other Missouri research facilities.

The USDA charged C.C. Baird of Martin’s Creek Kennel in Williford, Ark., with numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act, such as selling stolen pets and animal abuse and neglect. The department revoked Baird’s license and fined Martin’s Creek Kennel more than $260,000. Penalties also include a five-year probation and a $250,000 penalty if Baird engages in any of the activities for which his license was revoked.

C.C. Baird’s civil trial was scheduled to begin Jan. 24, but the case was settled out of court.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said the university was notified in December 2003 that the USDA was investigating a complaint of Martin’s Creek Kennel from an outside source. Because the USDA is obligated to investigate any type of complaint, regardless of the source or the severity, Basi said it isn’t rare to receive such notifications. Basi also said that when MU receives animals, it checks them for physical and emotional health and also for signs of private ownership. MU animal officials check pets for implanted microchips and tattoos that are used for pet identification. They also check to see if the animal has been spayed or neutered.

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