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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: 11,882
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


Nov 21, 2017 Kathy Sutter
Nov 20, 2017 Penny Fleischman
Nov 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 19, 2017 Beverly Schwarz
Nov 18, 2017 Emma Brooks
Nov 18, 2017 Stacey Govito
Nov 18, 2017 Sheri Whitethorn
Nov 17, 2017 Brandi Binau
Nov 17, 2017 Anna Maria Sergi
Nov 17, 2017 Jeanette Desmond
Nov 16, 2017 Evelyn Cuevas
Nov 16, 2017 Lindsey Dakin
Nov 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 16, 2017 Kelly Erwin
Nov 16, 2017 Janis Ciofalo
Nov 16, 2017 Chris Page
Nov 16, 2017 Sandra Herrera
Nov 16, 2017 Jami Pillow
Nov 16, 2017 p Garbett
Nov 16, 2017 Carleen Rosenau
Nov 16, 2017 Patti Dominick
Nov 16, 2017 Susan Jenkins
Nov 16, 2017 Louella Weaver
Nov 16, 2017 Sue Sargent
Nov 15, 2017 Sophie Dahavarian
Nov 15, 2017 Roberta Allen
Nov 15, 2017 Annemarie Jackson
Nov 15, 2017 Angela Kleis
Nov 14, 2017 janice vakili
Nov 14, 2017 Kaitlin McGonigle
Nov 14, 2017 richard nelson a law aginst this should handled by all forms of government
Nov 14, 2017 Jo Ann Gyllenhaal Cole
Nov 14, 2017 Adrienne Bergeron
Nov 14, 2017 Candris Madison
Nov 14, 2017 Lesley Fetterman
Nov 14, 2017 Kim Hanke
Nov 14, 2017 Colleen Plewniak
Nov 13, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 12, 2017 Terri Robb
Nov 12, 2017 Angela Schoenthal Ridiculous. Is the only word I have
Nov 11, 2017 Susan Manning Are we a country with any compassion? Animals are not ours to abuse; we have an obligation to protest them in their innocence!
Nov 11, 2017 Andrea Howard
Nov 11, 2017 diane rockafellow
Nov 11, 2017 Lisa Merchant
Nov 11, 2017 Elba Alexander
Nov 10, 2017 Berry Berkel
Nov 10, 2017 Gaynor Williams
Nov 10, 2017 Ruby Irvine
Nov 10, 2017 LUCUTA CONSTANTIN

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