We have some not so great news and we need your help to fight back! As you may have already heard, on February 3rd, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) removed tens of thousands of animal-related inspection documents and reports. These reports detailed the approximately 9,000 animal-related facilities inspected by the agency and covered under the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act. The USDA cited unspecified privacy issues and a commitment to “transparency.” But this is not a commitment to transparency. If anything, this is undermining transparency.
Now it is far more challenging to know whether animals are being treated properly in research labs, puppy mills, zoos, circuses, aquariums. Protecting animal abusers is unacceptable!
“What the USDA has done is given cover to people who neglect or harm animals and get cited by USDA inspectors,” said John Goodwin, who runs the Stop Puppy Mills Campaign at The Humane Society of the United States. “The public is no longer going to be able to quickly learn which commercial dog breeders, horse trainers, which roadside zoos, which research labs have horrible animal welfare track records.” And as the Humane Society of the United States points out, these documents are the product of taxpayer dollars and there is no reason the agency should not post these regularly requested public records online.
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Image source: Animal Rescue Corps/Facebook