Public outcry over USDA removal of animal welfare documents precedes lawsuits

❝ The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a statement this morning regarding the removal of animal welfare reports from its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website…

Lies and bullshit. When you click through to the article you’ll find exactly what you expect. The 2016 date is correct only because that’s when the USDA bureaucrats owned by puppy mill lobbyists made their most recent try at hiding licensing and inspection info. Before this one. And turned down by Obama.

❝ This morning, Speaking of Research, an international organization that supports the use of animals in scientific labs, also weighed in on the issue. In a blog post, the organization says it has “considerable concerns about the wealth of information that has been removed from the USDA website in the last week.” The post continues, “When information is hidden … the public wonders what is being hidden and why, and researchers must devote even more resources to combatting the public perception that they are not transparent.” The group has uploaded some of USDA’s past reports on its website.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) today put USDA on notice that it intends to use legal tools to force the agency to restore tens of thousands of documents on animal welfare that it removed from its website on Friday.

❝ In this letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, the animal welfare organization reminded the government that under the terms of a 2009 legal settlement with HSUS, USDA had agreed to make public some of the records it has now scrubbed from its public database. HSUS, its lawyers write, “is exercising its rights under [the 2009 settlement] and intends to take further action unless USDA agrees to reconsider this bizarre reversal of the agency’s longstanding policy” of making inspection records and others publicly available.

The animal organization’s letter notes that under the terms of the 2009 settlement, the two parties, HSUS and USDA, now have 30 days to settle their differences. After that, HSUS can ask the court to reopen the lawsuit.

You can look at this coverup as the latest in Trumpublicans unwillingness to allow transparency. Licensing and inspection records are requisite in most publically-funded agencies. In this case, there are state and city agencies that require the access previously available by a click to update their own records on animal care, animal sales.

Trump, like most of today’s Republicans, feels profit takes priority over transparency, honesty, common decency.

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