Animal welfare scorecard:
Industries profiting from the use of animals = 1 ; Captive animals = 0
The U.S. Department of Agriculture abruptly removed inspection reports and other information from its website about the treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, zoos, dog breeding operations and other facilities.
In a statement, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service cited court rulings and privacy laws for the decision, which it said was the result of a “comprehensive review” that took place over the past year. It said the removed documents, which also included records of enforcement actions against violators of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act, would now be accessible only via Freedom of Information Act Requests. Those can take years to be approved…
The records that had been available were frequently used by animal welfare advocates to monitor government regulation of animal treatment at circuses, scientific labs and zoos. Journalists have used the documents to expose violations at universities.
“The USDA action cloaks even the worst puppy mills in secrecy and allows abusers of Tennessee walking horses, zoo animals and lab animals to hide even the worst track records in animal welfare.”
-John Goodwin, senior director of the Humane Society’s Stop Puppy Mills Campaign
Advocates for businesses that rely on animals, including agriculture and exotic pet breeders, have long resented government oversight that they say is overly aggressive and influenced by animal protection groups…