The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today restored some of the tens of thousands of animal welfare documents that it removed from its website early this month.
In this announcement, the agency says that it is “posting the first batch of annual reports of research institutions and inspection reports” resulting from a “comprehensive review” that began with the complete removal of previously public documents that are generated by the agency as it enforces the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Horse Protection Act. The new announcement points readers to the reposted information on the USDA website, here.
Those familiar with the records say USDA has so far restored only a small number of the previously posted documents. Among the data still unavailable are the vast majority of reports from regular inspections of animal-holding facilities that are monitored under AWA, including puppy mills and zoos. A number of groups have sued USDA to force it to repost all of the records.