USDA cites McClain Lodge for multiple violations

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:45 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The McClain Lodge in Rankin County invites families to experience exotic animals, according to their website, “like never before.”

One of their frequent visitors since 2020: The USDA.

The USDA stated in a 2020 citation report that McClain Lodge failed to demonstrate adequate experience and knowledge of the species they maintain.

The alleged violation involved the handling of animals.

In late 2020, a giraffe died due to intestinal parasites. The report also stated in the weeks leading up to the animal’s death that the barn in which the giraffe was housed failed to provide adequate heat. This may have contributed to their death.

A veterinarian also confirmed a red river hog likely died from hypothermia.

In 2021, McClain was cited for its handling of animals again. The lodge underwent a routine inspection late last year and was given deadlines to make sure it complied with the Animal Welfare Act.

Some of these included missing records for 34 animals and access to clean drinking water for two water hogs and sanitation. According to the report, a live rat and rodent droppings were present in the feed shed where the animals’ feed and medication was being stored.

McClain Lodge owner Joni Mcclain declined an on-camera interview but did provide us with a statement.

She says the giraffes that were purchased already were sick with parasites upon their delivery and they were not aware before buying them. She also stated that, “Not only are these animals our livelihood, but we consider them treasured pets and part of the McClain family.”

McLain says the lodge will continue to work with the USDA and the team of veterinarians currently on retainer to ensure the animals here thrive.

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