Success: USDA Reposts Animal Welfare Information

Target: Peter Rhee, USDA Director of Digital Communications

Goal: Praise the USDA for publishing information on animal abuse that had previously been taken down.

On February 3rd, 2017, thousands of records of animal abuse and neglect were removed from the USDA’s website, citing privacy concerns. This act was a huge step backwards in the fight for animal welfare, and it sparked a huge backlash. A wealth of petitions were written on the issue, and Forcechange was just one of the websites brave enough to speak out on this important topic. Perpetrators of animal cruelty should not be protected. Since animals are unable to speak for themselves, they are our most vulnerable population and must be afforded protection, like the inspections the USDA does to ensure they’re being treated humanely.

Weeks later, the USDA put some of the records back online. This victory may be small and incomplete, but we must celebrate any tiny step in the right direction for animal safety. It’s important that we praise the USDA for replacing at least some of these vital records, while we wait for more to be re-uploaded, since the usefulness of positive reinforcement cannot be underestimated. There are still lawsuits pending in regards to the other records, so hopefully more progress will be made soon. Sign this petition to applaud the USDA for taking a step in the right direction by republishing some records of animal cruelty.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Rhee,

The removal of thousands of records of animal cruelty from the USDA website was appalling. The records contributed to the accountability of zoos, circuses, laboratories, and puppy mills. Without the listings on your website, consumers had no idea which businesses were humane and which ones were horrifying in their abuse. There was a concern about the privacy of those committing these atrocities, but the records have not shared personal information for a long time and should not be hidden away behind red tape.

The records are an invaluable tool for animal activists, and should absolutely be made public. The Trump administration has brought change to every government department, but it shouldn’t prevent people from helping the helpless. Most of the records still are not posted and anyone interested has to file a Freedom of Information Act request, prolonging the needless suffering of innocent animals.  We praise your decision to relist some records but beg you to relist the rest immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Petr Kratochvil

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3 Comments

  1. Thank goodness the USDA reversed their decision or better yet decided it’s more important to protect all animals and allow the public to read the stories from around the world concerning animal and all wildlife abuse and deaths.

    Don’t let the government allow wildlife to disappear because of abuse. The world would be a very lonely place!

  2. HOWARD STAFFORD says:

    Thank you so much for doing the right thing.

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