BREAKING: The USDA abruptly removed access to Animal Welfare Act inspection reports & other documents from its website yesterday. These records have been invaluable resources for investigating cases of animal abuse and violations of the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act. Removing these records only serves to protect those harming animals.
"I insist that the USDA restore online access to animal welfare inspection reports and other animal welfare documents removed recently from its website. I care about the humane treatment of animals kept by commercial dog breeders, research labs, zoos, circuses and others. My taxpayer dollars support the work of the USDA and I shouldn't have to file a Freedom of Information Act request to see what my government is doing. There is no reason to make these reports more difficult to obtain, except to provide cover for puppy mills and others who neglect or harm animals."
(If calling your Senator or Congressman, make it clear that you are a constituent.)
Although a USDA statement claims that privacy concerns are behind the change, inspection reports contain little, if any, personal information about individuals. The more likely reason is that Trump's transition team for the USDA is led by a puppy mill advocate, as @AltUSDA (the Resistance account for the USDA), noted in a tweet.
"The statement said the documents will still be available through Freedom of Information Act requests, which can be costly for the general public and sometimes take months or years to obtain." -- from ABC News
USDA -- Call (844) 820-2234 or tweet to @USDA
Senator Chris Van Hollen: 202-224-4654 or submit a comment thru www.vanhollen.senate.gov/content/contact-senator.
Tweet to @ChrisVanHollen or send a free fax via the Internet thru https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php.
Senator Ben Cardin: 202-224-4524 (DC), 410-962-4436 (Baltimore) , 410-546-4250 (Salisbury), 301-762-2974 (Rockville), 301-860-0414 (Bowie) or 301-777-2957 (Cumberland).
Tweet to @SenatorCardin or send a free fax via the Internet thru https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php.
Congressman Jamie Raskin: 202-225-5341 or tweet to @RepRaskin (official House page) or @JamieRaskin (campaign page). Raskin does not accept faxes.
Congressman Andy Harris: 202-225-5311 (DC) , 410-588-5670 (Bel Air), 410-643-5425 (Kent Island) or 443-944-8624 (Salisbury). Tweet to @RepAndyHarrisMD or send a free fax via the Internet thru https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php
@AltUSDA -- Follow the Twitter account for the USDA resistance. Tweet them your thanks!