Topeka City Council Approves Settlement Over USDA Complaint

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka City Council members voted 6-0 Tuesday night to approve a settlement with the USDA over animal deaths at the Topeka Zoo.

The USDA issued a complained against the zoo in December 2011. It listed more than 30 violations, alleging the Topeka Zoo willfully violated the Animal Welfare Act and failed to establish and maintain programs of veterinary care.

The settlement reflects the deaths of nine animals over a four-year period cited in the USDA's complaint. The City agreed to pay $5,000 for each animal death, for a total of $45,000.

The City says the maximum penalties could have nearly $450,000 plus the zoo could have had its license suspended or revoked.

City Council members met in executive session with Zoo Director Brendan Wiley before the meeting then added the settlement consideration to their agenda.

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