The puppy mill industry has long been dogged with allegations of animal abuse, corrupt business practices, and inhumane living conditions for the animals. Until fairly recently, the United States Department of Agriculture kept up with violations of animal rights and published that information on it’s public website for anyone to see at anytime. However, that’s not the case, anymore…
Here’s the story from INQUISITR:
Donald Trump’s administration is blocking the public from seeing inspection records from puppy mill inspections, and animal rights activists are growing concerned that abuses may now be hidden from the public.
As Glamour noted last year, the Trump administration scrubbed these inspection records from the USDA’s website. Under President Barack Obama, members of the public were able to go onto the site to read reports from puppy mill inspections, but under Trump, they would have to fill out a Freedom of Information Act request and wait several months for a response. As the Tampa Bay Times found out, even going through this process did not lead to any information about puppy mills and potential abuses or violations.
The lack of transparency has animal rights activists worried that there could be abuses at these dog breeders and that the public would not know about them.
Check it out from the Tampa Bay Times:
In May of last year, the Tampa Bay Times asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide the three most recent inspections of 15 puppy breeders who supply Tampa-area stores.
It took nine months, but the reply arrived last week: 54 pages of total blackout.
Every word of every inspection — from the date to the violations — were redacted from the documents provided. Providing “personnel and medical files,” the agency said, would “constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
These records used to be available on the USDA website for anyone to search and find. But in the first month after President Donald Trump took office, the information was scrubbed entirely from the website.
“Having a USDA license for breeding dogs is like having a driver’s license,” said John Goodwin, the senior director of the Humane Society of the United States Stop Puppy Mills campaign. “You get to hold onto it even with a number of citations, except now, no one knows what those citations are. The worst people in the world could be selling to pet stores, and no one is the wiser.”
Why did the Trump administration do this?
What purpose could removing these records serve?