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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: 15,592
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 18, 2018 Tamara Bacon
Jun 17, 2018 Joyce McCollum
Jun 17, 2018 Jennifer Evans
Jun 17, 2018 Jackie Maloof
Jun 17, 2018 Magdalena Borkowska
Jun 16, 2018 Bridget Hopper
Jun 16, 2018 Francis Servaege
Jun 12, 2018 Dean LaPorte
Jun 12, 2018 Angie Hyde
Jun 12, 2018 Carolina Costa
Jun 10, 2018 Sophie Avoustin
Jun 10, 2018 judith goldberg
Jun 10, 2018 thoomas friedman
Jun 10, 2018 Patrizia Cordoni
Jun 10, 2018 Jill Tew
Jun 10, 2018 Cara Blazucki
Jun 8, 2018 Theresa Stasiw
Jun 8, 2018 Angel Woytovich
Jun 7, 2018 Anita Carter
Jun 7, 2018 rick morales
Jun 7, 2018 Carol Felicello
Jun 7, 2018 Liliane Morin
Jun 7, 2018 Jenn Eckberg
Jun 7, 2018 pat mohr
Jun 7, 2018 Ursula Dicks
Jun 7, 2018 Stacey Lightfoot
Jun 7, 2018 Maryanna Moskal
Jun 7, 2018 Renate Chappell
Jun 6, 2018 heather hammar
Jun 5, 2018 Christopher Dean
Jun 5, 2018 DAWN Felton
Jun 4, 2018 Lisa Osthues
Jun 3, 2018 Rosiris Paniagua USDA please do your job and be their voice and do not allow the cruelty to happen.
Jun 3, 2018 Pat Griffey
Jun 3, 2018 joan silaco
Jun 2, 2018 Greta Ball
Jun 2, 2018 Mark Osborn
Jun 2, 2018 Irene Serrano-Osborn
Jun 2, 2018 Amanda Young
Jun 1, 2018 Sherri Hickman
Jun 1, 2018 Stacey Wolfe
Jun 1, 2018 Cheryl Beal
Jun 1, 2018 Charlotte Dunnaway
May 31, 2018 Jennifer McDaniel
May 31, 2018 T Boettger
May 31, 2018 Pauline Desilets
May 31, 2018 Lindsay Sworthout
May 31, 2018 Joanne Patton
May 31, 2018 Bonnie Smith The ONLY reason to deny the public access to this information would be because unconscionable and indefensible practices actions are being done. Public view is necessary to keep private money-makers in check. PLEASE ALLOW ACCESS!
May 31, 2018 thomas wegner

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