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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: 18,057
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


Aug 14, 2018 Gina Embry
Aug 14, 2018 Belinda Bolden
Aug 14, 2018 Sheryl Segraves
Aug 13, 2018 Siya Khan
Aug 13, 2018 Anne Wolfenbarger
Aug 13, 2018 julie scalise Lets be their voice!
Aug 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Aug 13, 2018 vanyoska gee
Aug 13, 2018 Kathleen Senior
Aug 13, 2018 Suzy Lowe
Aug 13, 2018 Michelle Oliver
Aug 13, 2018 Colette Winslow
Aug 13, 2018 Carol Shelfo
Aug 13, 2018 Karen Beckner
Aug 13, 2018 Paul Foulger
Aug 13, 2018 Kortney Lillestrand
Aug 13, 2018 Angela Abbassi
Aug 13, 2018 Lisa Porter
Aug 13, 2018 Mary Doyle
Aug 13, 2018 Lisa Sayers We need to be their voice, this is unacceptable.... Tougher laws, jail time, never own any sort of animal again, the list goes on ....
Aug 12, 2018 Heather Kennedy
Aug 12, 2018 lucia ferreri
Aug 12, 2018 Cheryl Keim
Aug 12, 2018 Elizabeth Montalvo
Aug 12, 2018 Patricia Fleak
Aug 12, 2018 Gloria Wilkins
Aug 12, 2018 Joan Puwalski
Aug 12, 2018 Francine LE BERT
Aug 12, 2018 Wilma Venett Animal abuse needs to stop!!!!
Aug 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Aug 12, 2018 Vicki Hayes It is ridiculous that the database of animal welfare reports is not open to the public. Who is the government trying to protect.... those that inflict crimes to animals and animal cruelty? The public has a right to know.
Aug 12, 2018 Karen Richel
Aug 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Aug 12, 2018 CHARLENE DONOVAN
Aug 12, 2018 Maureen Arnold
Aug 12, 2018 Kathleen Smith
Aug 12, 2018 Carrie Peck
Aug 11, 2018 frank smith
Aug 11, 2018 Jackie Haas
Aug 11, 2018 Patricia Miller God help us and helpless animals. Trump needs muzzle!
Aug 11, 2018 Sudan Laatsch People who hurt the innocent...such as Animals & Children have NO right to Privacy.! & l Have the Right to Know about those cruel people. Please restore our right to see the Lists.
Aug 11, 2018 (Name not displayed) PLEASE REVERSE THIS DECISION!!! HELP!
Aug 11, 2018 tammey sweezer
Aug 11, 2018 judy mackowski
Aug 11, 2018 Tanya Juarez
Aug 11, 2018 KALLIOPE MOUTZALIA AS A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY, WE DEMAND PUBLIC ACCESS TO ANIMAL ABUSE INFORMATION.
Aug 11, 2018 Lori Henderson
Aug 11, 2018 Georgios Ilias WHY ARE YOU PROTECTING THE ABUSERS AND NOT THE VICTIMS? SHAME ON YOU.
Aug 11, 2018 Denise Pistana
Aug 11, 2018 Barbara Thornton

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