Doug Terranova of Animal Encounters

PETA Alerts USDA to Unlicensed Doug Terranova’s Recent Circus Performances

September 10, 2019

Contact:  David Perle 202-483-7382

Kaufman, Texas – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) permanently revoked the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license of Doug Terranova, a Kaufman-based animal exhibitor, on August 30 and ordered him and his company to pay a total of $64,700 in civil penalties. Among the willful violations that Terranova—whom PETA has complained to the USDA about for years—was found to have committed was an April 2013 incident in which a woman came face to face with a tiger in a public bathroom after the animal escaped from trainers at a Shrine circus in Kansas.

Because Terranova continued to exhibit tigers with Carden International Circus through September 1 in Cedar Creek, PETA sent a letter this morning urging the USDA to investigate him and hold him accountable for apparently exhibiting the animals without a license—a violation of federal law that can merit criminal charges.

“Doug Terranova’s years of allowing animals to escape and willfully evading federal inspectors have finally caught up with him,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “With Terranova out of business, there are now only nine licensed exhibitors in the U.S. who force lions and tigers to perform in archaic circus shows—and PETA will keep working until that number is down to zero.”

In 2012, the USDA fined Terranova $25,000 for violating the AWA, ordered him to cease and desist committing further violations of the act, and barred him from possessing elephants. In 2016, an administrative law judge suspended his license for 30 days and assessed penalties of $21,500 for AWA violations and failing to obey the cease and desist order—sanctions that, following a government appeal, a USDA judicial officer has now concluded were too lax. In the decision to revoke Terranova’s license, the officer wrote, “Although this sanction may seem relatively severe, Respondents’ continued failures to abide by the Regulations and Standards, to the detriment of animal health and safety to the public, shows that Respondents are not qualified to be licensed.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit


Doug Terranova of Animal Encounters was accused of mishandling resulting in cub deaths as well in his traveling act in USDA Docket Nos. 09-0155 and 10-0418. Terranova was fined $25,000 in 2011 for severe violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

In 2015 USDA sued Doug Terranova






News-Animal Trainer Faces USDA Sanctions

His traveling companion, Joe Schreibvogel, is under investigation by the USDA for 23 tiger cubs who died over an 18 month period.

At the 2012 Mississippi Valley Fair the fair’s vet found Joe Schreibvogel’s tiger cub to be suffering diarrhea severely enough to warrant prescribing Albon which is typically used to treat bacterial and coccidial infections.

On his live broadcast Joe Schreibvogel said that he blamed it on a change in formula, but you should know that he uses that as his standard answer.  In fact, the USDA is still investigating him for the deaths of 23 tiger cubs in an 18 month period.  He claimed it was the formula, but the FDA said the formula was fine and the necropsy report showed aspiration pneumonia and did not fault the formula.

9/1/2015  Shriner and head of “Fun Time Shows” Bill Cunningham confronts Shriner President, Doug Terranova, and joins forces with PETA to stop using wild animals at the Shrine Circus  Cunningham calls the acts abusive and vows to educate the public about the cruelty of taking wild animals on the road for shows.

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