Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Voluntary efforts will never achieve Iowa's goal to curb nitrogen runoff, water quality researcher says

Iowa will never achieve its goal to reduce nitrate runoff from Iowa farm fields relying only on voluntary actions of farm operators, according to a hydrologist who has done extensive research on the state's waterways and water quality.

The state has not only has failed to achieve its goal to reduce nitrogen runoff by 45 percent over the past eight years, the 5-year average of nitrate flowing into the Mississippi River has increased, up more than 100 percent between 2003 and 2019, according to Larry Weber, Ph.D, a research engineer with the University of Iowa's IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering Department.

Farm bureau crows about water quality progress; nutrient reduction report stats show otherwise

The Iowa Farm Bureau unleashed its public relations machine after release of the 2018-19 Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) Report July 2, heralding what it called "clear and significant strides" on reducing nitrogen and phosphorus leaching from farms fields into state streams, rivers and lakes.

Problem is the farm bureau either failed to read the report statistics on nitrogen and phosphorus runoff, or simply chose to ignore the research results and spin the findings.

Cricket Hollow Zoo owners file appeal with Iowa Supreme Court; seek halt to remove of animals

The Iowa Supreme Court has been asked (11/27) to halt the removal of exotic animals from Cricket Hollow Zoo while hearing an appeal of the district court decision that found treatment of animals at the roadside zoo violated Iowa's animal cruelty standards.

Appeal of the Delaware County District Court decision and stay of the removal order was filed by Pamela and Tom Sellner, owners of troubled roadside zoo near Manchester.

In the appeal, the Sellners claim the judge was not "an impartial decision maker," and that the judge "took an advocacy role on the side of the Petitioners. . ."

CLICK HERE for further information on the zoo and the district court decision of Nov. 25.

Lawsuit seeks permanent shutdown of troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester

A trial seeking permanent closure of the troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester is under way.

The lawsuit was filed by four state residents after years of seeking enforcement of state and federal animal treatment standards at the roadside zoo run by Pamela and Tom Sellner.

The trial in Delaware County District Court began last week (10/17) and after a tour of the zoo Judge Monica Wittig termed conditions at the facility "deplorable," according to a report in the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald newspaper.

May inspection of Cricket Hollow Zoo prompted suspension; appeal keeps findings confidential

The federal inspection of Cricket Hollow Zoo in May found something troubling enough to temporarily suspend the facility's license, but exactly what prompted the closure won't be known until an appeal of the findings is complete later this month.

Cricket Hollow Zoo license temporarily suspended by USDA; reasons for shutdown remain unknown

Federal officials have suspended the license of Cricket Hollow Zoo, the "roadside" zoo near Manchester, Iowa, which has been cited repeatedly for animal welfare violations over the past five years.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) June 16 placed the zoo under a 21-day suspension. No explanation was given for the suspension, and calls and emails to USDA officials were not immediately returned. The suspension is to expire today, July 7.

Troubled eastern Iowa zoo cited for three Animal Welfare Act violations by USDA inspectors

A troubled eastern Iowa zoo near Manchester has been cited for three more Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations stemming from an attempted inspection of the facility in February and a weather-shortened inspection in March by U.S. Agriculture Department veterinarians.

Cricket Hollow Zoo critics seek to force USDA to take action to close Manchester facility

An animal rights group has taken its efforts to close the troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester, Iowa to the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Emails indicate bias by state ag department in inspections of troubled eastern Iowa zoo

The two Iowa agriculture department employees primarily responsible for inspecting the troubled Cricket Hollow Zoo have been critical – in emails to superiors and on social media sites – of citizens filing animal welfare complaints against the facility near Manchester.

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