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NEWBERRY — UPDATE: Oswald’s Bear Ranch has officially taken legal action against PETA.

PETA has until noon tomorrow to retract all statements they have made about the facility. Plus, they have to stop using the mobile billboard.

One of the owners of Oswald’s Bear Ranch says they’ve obtained legal representation from Lansing.

The plan is to get an injunction from a federal judge if PETA does not adhere to the deadline of Saturday at noon.

An attorney from the law firm representing Oswald’s Bear Ranch sent a letter to the president of PETA.

It says in part, “Oswald’s Bear Ranch does not abuse bear cubs. The bear cub depicted on the mobile billboard is not an Oswald’s Bear Ranch bear. Additionally, the bears at Oswald’s Bear Ranch are not kept behind bars as depicted in your mobile billboard. PETA’s false statements about Oswald’s Bear Ranch and its misrepresentation regarding the bear at Oswald’s Bear Ranch are defamatory as a matter of law and hold Oswald’s Bear Ranch out to the public in a false light.”

The letter goes on to say, “Please email me a copy of the press release retracting your false statements and a photograph of the mobile billboard with a new message which retracts your false statements ny 12:00 noon Saturday, September 1, 2018.”

**********************************************************************************************************************PETA has established a mobile billboard targeting Oswald’s Bear Ranch that will circulate along the roadsides of Newberry from now until September 3.

The billboard that reads, “Your Ticket, Your Fault. Cubs are Suffering for Photo Ops at Oswald’s Bear Ranch,” will circle the area around the notorious Newberry-based roadside zoo for 9 hours each day. PETA says that the billboard aims to persuade viewers to never support Oswald’s “cruel and exploitative use of bear cubs in photo ops.”

Local 3 reached out to Dean Oswald, owner of Oswald’s Bear Ranch, who says this isn’t the first time PETA has targeted the ranch.

“This is the fourth time they’ve come after us,” Oswald said. He also continued to explain that within a short amount of time, one inspector from MIOSHA and two inspectors from the USDA paid a visit to the ranch following accusations by PETA.

Oswald said that in every instance, the ranch was cleared 100% and was found to be following all regulations.

“This shameless facility has made a business out of encouraging people to use terrified baby bears as social media fodder,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on Oswald’s Bear Ranch to pull the plug on its indefensible bear cub photo ops and urging the public not to buy a ticket to this or any other animal-exploiting shtick.

But according to Oswald’s website, the bear ranch serves as a safe-haven to “abused and neglected bears by rescuing them from various harmful circumstances.” The ranch is also used to educate students on the rescued cubs, and the importance of protecting black bears and their environment.

Oswald told Local 3, “The PETA situation has now become strictly harassment – and now I’m considering turning things over to my attorney in Lansing.”