February 17, 2017

Wyden to Keep Pushing for Transparency to Protect Animals from Abuse

Following senators’ call to restore public information about animal welfare violations, USDA puts some information back on its website

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today pledged to keep fighting to ensure transparency in animal welfare violations after the U.S. Department of Agriculture agreed to restore a small portion of public information to its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.

Earlier this week, Wyden and 17 of his Democratic Senate colleagues called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to again make publically available animal welfare inspection reports for regulated entities and animal research laboratories. On Feb. 3, the part of the website that is dedicated to identifying animal cruelty violations was taken down.

“Ending animal cruelty starts with getting the facts out there,” Wyden said. “The USDA’s partial restoration of public information that was inappropriately hidden from Americans is a recognition that this information never should have been taken down in the first place.

“I am working on ways to permanently make sure this information stays public in order to give Americans the information they need to hold puppy mill operators and other animal abusers accountable.”

Seven states currently prohibit the purchase of animals from commercial breeders and puppy mills that have violated the Animal Welfare Act or the Horse Protection Act.  To enforce the laws in these states, law enforcement relies on the information that had been available on the APHIS website since 2009.