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Stop Information Blackout at USDA That's Protecting Animal Abusers

Stop Information Blackout at USDA That's Protecting Animal Abusers

Stop Information Blackout at USDA That's Protecting Animal Abusers

The United States Department of Agriculture has taken a bold and unprecedented action to protect animal abusers. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has removed all public records of animals kept in facilities such as laboratories and zoos, along with records of violations of the Animal Welfare Act. These records, formerly public information, are now only available through costly and time-consuming Freedom of Information Act requests.

Much of this formerly public information concerns taxpayer-funded labs; it's the right of all of our citizens to know what is being done with their money. Even more importantly, these reports have brought to light some of the most egregious offenses occurring against animals in the United States. A 2012 article in the Boston Globe reported on welfare concerns and violations at a Harvard University laboratory, known as the New England Primate Research Center. At this lab, a primate was sent through a cage washing machine while still inside the cage, and was killed.

Without public access to APHIS's records, animal exploiters will truly be free to do anything they wish. Animal testing labs, puppy mills, roadside zoos, and other institutions such as SeaWorld and Ringling which are built on the exploitation and harm of animals will operate in secrecy and with impunity. Demand that public access to these records be restored!

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