Blackout Over? Congress Demands That USDA Restore Animal Welfare Records

Nearly three years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) abruptly purged tens of thousands of records related to the inspection of commercial dog breeders, a.k.a. puppy mills, and has continued to block public access to crucial animal welfare records. This information blackout has protected the agency and the businesses it licenses, endangering the lives and well-being of animals.

Thanks to your continued advocacy on this important issue, at the end of 2019 Congress passed a law requiring the USDA to restore purged animal welfare records and to post complete inspection reports and enforcement records moving forward.

The USDA has until February 18 to comply and restore its records. Given the agency’s notorious lack of transparency and history of non-cooperation when it comes to animal welfare, we will be scrutinizing the information that the USDA posts to ensure that it fully complies with the law.

We applaud congressional leaders in both chambers who championed this issue, including Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). For updates on the USDA blackout and to use your voice to help animals, please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.

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