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After protests over the deletion of thousands of animal welfare records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture database reached the highest levels of government, the department has restored a small number of annual reports and inspection data. But the vast majority of the database is still missing. Keep up the pressure on the USDA to restore the ENTIRE database! Sign now!
Goal: 30,000 Progress: 11,098
Sponsored by: The Animal Rescue Site

Thousands of reports on facilities dealing with animals were taken down from the United States Department of Agriculture website on Feb. 3, 2017. The reports detailed inspections of operations regulated under the Animal Welfare Act or the Horse Protection Act, as well as the crimes and the legal enforcement actions taken against those who have violated the laws.

The removal of these documents from the public was met with consternation and protest from those who must operate under the rules. Advocates for animal rights, as well as those looking for or selling pets, have long relied on this information to research puppy mills and abusive breeders. In seven states, where there is no lower regulatory presence, these reports have been the sole source of such data.

"What the USDA has done is given cover to people who neglect or harm animals and get cited by USDA inspectors," John Goodwin, head of the Stop Puppy Mills Campaign at The Humane Society of the United States, told US News. "The public is no longer going to know which commercial dog breeders, horse trainers, which zoos, which research labs have horrible animal welfare track records."

Those responsible for enforcing animal welfare laws will have a harder time doing so without access to the data as well. Local regulations dealing with animals, or bans on breeders, may be impossible to enforce altogether.

The only information currently accessible on the USDA's APHIS — Animal Care website is a short message affirming the department's "commitment to being transparent, remaining responsive to our stakeholders' informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals."

But what about the rights of animals to live free from abuse?

"The citizens of the United States deserve to see that information," Dan Ashe, head of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told National Geographic. He maintains that USDA's actions are "not in the interest of credible, legitimate animal care facilities. What [the action] does is it erodes public confidence, because when people see something like that, they're inclined, rightfully, to think that the government is trying to shield something from their view."

The USDA claims that the records have been taken down as a matter of "maintaining the privacy rights of individuals," but it's clear the welfare of animals is at risk as result of that action.

Tell the head of the USDA to restore public access to all animal welfare information immediately!

Sign Here






To the Secretary of Agriculture,

The USDA's decision to block the public from its database of animal welfare reports must be reversed. The department cannot be transparent with these short-sighted actions, and the citizens of the United States demand you restore the information now.

Advocates for animal rights, as well as those looking for or selling pets, have long relied on this information to research puppy mills and abusive breeders. In seven states, where there is no lower regulatory presence, these reports have been the sole source of such data. The agents responsible for enforcing animal welfare laws will have a harder time doing so without access to the data, as well. Local regulations dealing with animals, or bans on breeders, may be impossible to enforce altogether.

There is no reason this information should be obfuscated as a result of private interests. It belongs in the public domain, as experts and members of nearly every level of government have asserted.

Secretary, you would do well to consider the legal action currently facing the USDA, as initiated by the Humane Society of the Unites States. The betrayal of the settlement made in 2009, when those documents were made public, will not go down without a tremendous fight.

I demand you restore public access to the USDA's animal welfare information immediately.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


Jun 26, 2017 Denise Gerber
Jun 26, 2017 Kat Rickels
Jun 26, 2017 Rosy Morales
Jun 26, 2017 beverly williams
Jun 25, 2017 ALESSIA BERGAMINI
Jun 25, 2017 STEVE TARDIF
Jun 24, 2017 Angela Moore
Jun 24, 2017 Thao Vu
Jun 23, 2017 Patricia Dangle
Jun 23, 2017 Bernadette MAHE
Jun 23, 2017 (Name not displayed) Take action to expose those, who covered up the public right to know about the welfare of animals.
Jun 22, 2017 Maurizio Slanzi
Jun 22, 2017 Beverly Brown
Jun 22, 2017 Jeane Bangert
Jun 22, 2017 Ольга Малютина
Jun 21, 2017 Lisa Hamilton
Jun 21, 2017 Linda Marshall
Jun 21, 2017 franca frebet
Jun 21, 2017 Meg Blanchard
Jun 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jun 20, 2017 David Haim
Jun 20, 2017 Stephen Bono
Jun 20, 2017 ANNE Gilbert
Jun 20, 2017 emily dugan
Jun 20, 2017 Anne Matarin-Bessiron
Jun 20, 2017 Patricia McCormick Your cowardice and laziness have been duly noted; this is a taxpayer funded agency, and, as such, is obviously nothing more than a huge waste of money. If you cannot do your job, go home and stay there!
Jun 20, 2017 annick louvet
Jun 19, 2017 Davi Parrish
Jun 19, 2017 Paola Moretti
Jun 19, 2017 Rex De Silva
Jun 19, 2017 Jana Williams
Jun 19, 2017 Tracy Schalk
Jun 19, 2017 Cynthia Ostrunic
Jun 19, 2017 Oscar Landé
Jun 19, 2017 Anna Krohn
Jun 19, 2017 Elizabeth Jones These reports must remain open to the public and transparent to all for the sake of the animals. The Public is demanding this for the welfare & protection of all animals.
Jun 19, 2017 Rachel Reed
Jun 19, 2017 Steve Reed
Jun 19, 2017 Lynn Reed
Jun 19, 2017 Sharon Porter
Jun 19, 2017 Stephanie Cruz
Jun 19, 2017 Carol Painter
Jun 19, 2017 Ewa Perczak
Jun 19, 2017 Rennell Brunclik
Jun 19, 2017 Joyce Barringer
Jun 19, 2017 leslie ray
Jun 19, 2017 Kim Fox
Jun 19, 2017 Frances La Grange
Jun 19, 2017 peggy kuhn There is no reason this information should not be available to the public. You are hiding things that are for sure breaking the law or you wouldn't be hiding. Shame on you! This is DISGUSTING! Where is your moral compass. Do the right thing.
Jun 19, 2017 peggy file

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