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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2006, 12:04 GMT
Jackson accused of animal cruelty
Neverland
Jackson has left Neverland and is now living in Bahrain
Michael Jackson has been accused of animal cruelty by US campaigners who are demanding an investigation into conditions on his Neverland ranch.

Pressure group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has written to authorities asking it to look into allegations of animal neglect.

Peta spokeswoman Lisa Wathne said she had seen photos showing animals surrounded by pools of urine.

Jackson, who now lives in Bahrain, has not commented on the allegations.

Giraffes, elephants and crocodiles all live on the California estate, which Jackson bought in 1988. At its height, it boasted a zoo, fairground rides and a steam railway.

"These animals are in enclosures that are completely barren," Ms Wathne said.

"It looks like a dilapidated roadside zoo. The animals have no enrichment of any kind. They are deprived of everything that's natural to them."

She added: "We have heard accusations that employees aren't being paid and that animals aren't being fed or that food is only available on a day-to-day basis.

"We have asked the United States Department of Agriculture to investigate, and if they determine the animals are not being cared for properly, to confiscate the animals and release them to accredited sanctuaries."

Bahrain job

The charity said it did not expect to hear from the department for some months, although there was a possibility it was already investigating the allegations.

It emerged last week that Jackson is being sued by a veterinarian in California for alleged unpaid bills.

Jackson's lawyer Brian Oxman said the singer did not want to comment on the claims.

Meanwhile, a company based in Bahrain has said it is interested in offering Jackson a consultancy role.

AAJ Holdings, owned by Bahraini businessman Ahmed Abu Bakr Janahi, said it wanted to hire the 47-year-old to give advice on setting up entertainment businesses.

The firm focuses on high-profile urban developments.

"Stagnant architectural structures need content in the form of entertainment to revive them and that's where Michael Jackson will play an integral role," a statement said.

Jackson spokeswoman Raymone Bain was not available for comment.




SEE ALSO:
Jackson sued for unpaid vet bills
07 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
'Talks to settle' Jackson case
06 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Threat to Jackson's Beatles stake
20 Dec 05 |  Entertainment


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