USDA’s Half-Hearted Gesture at Transparency Is Not Good Enough
Update, February 24: The USDA has restored additional documents to its public website, but continues to hide puppy mill inspection records and enforcement reports. Puppies and their long-suffering parents are still vulnerable, so help us keep the pressure on and sign our petition to USDA if you haven't already.
After intense and sustained pressure from lawmakers, media, animal welfare organizations and the public, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has re-posted a portion of the documentation that was purged from its website on February 3—but not the missing puppy mill reports.
According to the USDA’s announcement today, “annual reports of research institutions and inspection reports for certain Federal research facilities” have been restored to the site “in the same redacted form as before.” USDA has not provided any further information about the thousands of other documents that were deleted last week, including inspection and enforcement documentation related to zoos and puppy mills.
“This doesn't help dogs languishing in puppy mills,” says ASPCA President Matt Bershadker. “It doesn't help advocates who use this information to monitor these facilities. And it doesn't help consumers who want to know more about the breeders who supply their pet stores and online marketplaces. We strongly urge USDA to turn this half-measure into a meaningful one by restoring all the rest of the purged information.”