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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: 15,748
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


Jul 18, 2018 Caryn Graves
Jul 18, 2018 jmeterFirstName595036044559408 jmetetlastName307514768241674 jmeterComment6182
Jul 18, 2018 jmeterFirstName928835384713468 jmetetlastName850012726278756 jmeterComment9258
Jul 18, 2018 Karen Burger
Jul 18, 2018 Etelvina D. Serrano Martínez
Jul 18, 2018 Laura Jennison
Jul 18, 2018 Helen Torosian
Jul 17, 2018 emma rugari
Jul 17, 2018 David Sickles
Jul 17, 2018 VALERY ALLISON
Jul 17, 2018 Joyce Frievalt
Jul 17, 2018 Marsha Cruea
Jul 17, 2018 Connie Hope-Bly
Jul 17, 2018 erin craig
Jul 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 17, 2018 Kathy Bean
Jul 17, 2018 Jennifer McBurney
Jul 17, 2018 Erin McCarty
Jul 17, 2018 Candance Williams This is vile and disgusting!! All animal abuse should be dealt with immediately and the abusers prosecuted!!!
Jul 17, 2018 Bernie Doherty
Jul 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 17, 2018 susan barta
Jul 17, 2018 Christine Geise
Jul 17, 2018 Michelle Sibinovic
Jul 16, 2018 Alana Kaplan
Jul 16, 2018 Kirsten Deveraux
Jul 16, 2018 Kirsten Van Heurck
Jul 16, 2018 Karen Scarlet
Jul 16, 2018 Sarah Von Beanz
Jul 16, 2018 Kristel Van Heurck
Jul 16, 2018 Mark Jennerjohn
Jul 16, 2018 David McAlaster
Jul 15, 2018 Cindy Reed
Jul 15, 2018 AnneMarie Ansel It is no more a matter of "maintaining the privacy rights of individuals" for animal abuser than it would be for sex offenders or child abusers!
Jul 13, 2018 Glenys Rawdon
Jul 12, 2018 mary blanford
Jul 11, 2018 Marilyn Platt
Jul 11, 2018 Leoranne Gall
Jul 11, 2018 Arlette SIMON
Jul 9, 2018 Tammi k
Jul 9, 2018 Kinjal Gupta Stop Animal Abuse!!
Jul 7, 2018 Lillian Kraemer
Jul 7, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jul 7, 2018 (Name not displayed) Restore public access to the USDA's animal welfare information immediately.
Jul 6, 2018 shirley oyster
Jul 6, 2018 Shawn Cloninger
Jul 4, 2018 Rositta Gile
Jul 4, 2018 lindy hoppe
Jul 4, 2018 Jennifer Villa Lopez
Jul 3, 2018 (Name not displayed) restore public access to the database of animal welfare reports.

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