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Luce County bear ranch under fire for alleged mistreatment of animals

Oswald bear.jpg

NEWBERRY, MI— Oswald’s Bear Ranch in Newberry has to answer a complaint from the USDA regarding treatment of its animals.

Dated September 17, the complaint alleges owners Dean and Jewel Oswald “willfully violated the Animal Welfare Act.” It says they failed to provide structurally sound housing for the bears that would contain them and protect them from injury.

In 2019 two bears escaped the ranch. One was returned, but the other was shot and killed by a Luce County Sheriff’s deputy.

The complaint also says the Oswalds failed to give the bears wholesome, palatable food free from contamination. They allegedly fed the animals restaurant scraps, donated meat, produce, and dog food, as well as food that was too high in fat and calories for that time of year.

The USDA says the gravity of the violations is great.

The Oswalds must file an answer to the complaint with the Office of the Hearing Clerk in Washington, D.C. Failure to do so will constitute an admission of guilt to all the allegations.