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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: 15,422
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


May 24, 2018 Alan Edgerton
May 24, 2018 Brenda Feliciano
May 24, 2018 Carol DiSibio
May 24, 2018 Ann Kristin Rasch
May 23, 2018 Kathy Jordan
May 23, 2018 Carla Patterson
May 23, 2018 charlene evans
May 23, 2018 Priscilla Lopes
May 23, 2018 jeanette capotorto
May 23, 2018 Janet Cameron
May 23, 2018 joe collins
May 23, 2018 Ruth Umayan
May 23, 2018 Erin Kennedy How Dare the USDA Hide Records of Millions of Records of Cruelty to Animals!!!! Your Agency is Suppose to Safeguard Animals!!!! This is a Democracy and the People zdemand Transparency!!!!!
May 23, 2018 Leandrie Venter
May 23, 2018 Saliha BELKHIR
May 23, 2018 Eva Passerini
May 23, 2018 SANDRA ROCHA
May 22, 2018 KRISTIE SENNETT
May 22, 2018 Bev DeSomber
May 22, 2018 Alyssa Melton
May 22, 2018 Julie Cook
May 22, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 22, 2018 Marti Kingwill
May 22, 2018 Cyndia Studt
May 22, 2018 Michelle Angelini
May 22, 2018 (Name not displayed) We need to stop this!!
May 22, 2018 Cheryl Winkle
May 22, 2018 Lisa Russell
May 22, 2018 elena matei
May 22, 2018 Don Reeves
May 22, 2018 Sandra Lytle Why now do they feel that the public should not be privy to this information.....is this due to direction from Trump's administration .....dismantle everything that Obama and previous presidents have done ???? the same as what is happening with the EPA
May 22, 2018 annah jetha
May 22, 2018 Lorraine Dumas
May 22, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 22, 2018 Sunny Marling
May 22, 2018 julie wiebe
May 22, 2018 Mary Reed I hope all of YOU ate out of your positions soon..you are DESPICABLE..are you being paid off ??? TAKING BRIBES???
May 22, 2018 Megan Goodson
May 22, 2018 Sharon Prior Look after the animals you're caring for and not letting them go through pain and suffering
May 22, 2018 sadie waite
May 22, 2018 Kevin van
May 22, 2018 Rita Rua
May 22, 2018 Linnell Watson
May 22, 2018 Caroline Morecroft
May 22, 2018 Jenni Slaven
May 22, 2018 T Iverson
May 22, 2018 Joyce Wootten
May 22, 2018 Sue Pankhurst
May 22, 2018 Dawn Proulx
May 22, 2018 Karen Mogavero

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