NY Times, Washington Post, ABC News Report That USDA (Under Trump Administration) Removes Key Horse Protection Act Enforcement Records

WASHINGTON, DC.  –  It is well-known in Washington, D. C., that if you have controversial news to deliver,  you dump it on Friday to avoid public scrutiny.

And that’s exactly what the USDA (under the President Donald J. Trump Administration) did.

At approximately 11:00 A. M. on Friday, February 3, 2017, a USDA official spokesperson confirmed the USDA had done the following:

 “USDA is implementing actions to remove documents it posts on APHIS’ website involving the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) that contain personal information” …

This news was reported on major news outlets throughout the country including the NY Times, ABC News, and  Washington Post. (Click link below)

https://www.google.com/#q=USDA+Removes+Animal+Welfare+Reports+From+Its+Website

Below is USDA website link:


OFFICIAL USDA WEBSITE INFORMATION – FEB. 3, 2017

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/enforcementactions

“Animal Welfare Enforcement Actions

Based on our commitment to being transparent, remaining responsive to our stakeholders’ informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals, APHIS is implementing actions to remove documents it posts on APHIS’ website involving the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) that contain personal information. These documents include inspection reports, research facility annual reports, regulatory correspondence (such as official warnings), lists of regulated entities, and enforcement records (such as pre-litigation settlement agreements and administrative complaints) that have not received final adjudication. In addition, APHIS will review and redact, as necessary, the lists of licensees and registrants under the AWA, as well as lists of designated qualified persons (DQPs) licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations to ensure personal information is not released to the general public. 

Those seeking information from APHIS regarding inspection reports, research facility annual reports, regulatory correspondence, and enforcement records should submit Freedom of Information Act requests for that information. Records will be released when authorized and in a manner consistent with the FOIA and Privacy Act. If the same records are frequently requested via the Freedom of Information Act process, APHIS may post the appropriately redacted versions to its website. In addition, some enforcement records (such as initial decision and orders, default decisions, and consent decisions) are available on the USDA’s Office of Administrative Law Judge’s website (https://www.oaljdecisions.dm.usda.gov). For more information on preparing and submitting Freedom of Information Act requests, please visit https://efoia-pal.usda.gov/palMain.aspx.”


As of Sunday,  February 5, 2017, the USDA Horse Protection Activity Reports are still accessible on the USDA website.  This Reports were first published on the Website in 2015 due to a (CCABLAC (Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty)  request to then APHIS Deputy Administrator Chester Gipson, D.V.M., that the information be made available to the public.

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/sa_hpa/hp-activity-reports


WASHINGTON POST NEWS STORY – FEB. 3, 2017

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/02/03/the-usda-abruptly-removes-animal-welfare-information-from-its-website/?utm_term=.9f1952b5025f

“USDA abruptly purges animal welfare information from its website

By Karin Brulliard February 3

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday abruptly removed inspection reports and other information from its website about the treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, zoos, dog breeding operations and other facilities.

In a statement, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service cited court rulings and privacy laws for the decision, which it said was the result of a “comprehensive review” that took place over the past year. It said the removed documents, which also included records of enforcement actions against violators of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act, would now be accessible only via Freedom of Information Act Requests. Those can take years to be approved.

 


NEW YORK TIMES NEWS STORY – FEB. 3, 2017

CLICK HERE For Full Story:

USDA Removes Animal Welfare Reports From Its Website

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FEB. 3, 2017, 4:21 P.M. E.S.T.

WASHINGTON — The Agriculture Department has removed animal welfare inspection reports, enforcement records and other information about the treatment of animals from its website, citing privacy and other laws.

Tanya Espinosa, a spokeswoman for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the information was removed from the site around 11 a.m. Friday. She would not say if the removal was temporary or permanent in the new Trump administration.

The information is used by advocacy groups and other members of the public to look up information on commercial dog and horse breeders, some of whom have had a history of abuse. The reports included lists of animal welfare violations at those facilities and also at animal testing labs, and whether those violations have been corrected.

In place of the online database is a new message from the department saying it is “implementing actions to remove documents” related to the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act that contain personal information.    ….”


ABC NEWS STORY – FEB. 3, 2017

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/usda-removes-animal-welfare-reports-website-45255159

“USDA Removes Animal Welfare Reports From Its Website

  • By MARY CLARE JALONICK, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON — Feb 3, 2017, 4:28 PM ET

The Agriculture Department has removed animal welfare inspection reports, enforcement records and other information about the treatment of animals from its website, citing privacy and other laws.

Tanya Espinosa, a spokeswoman for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the information was removed from the site around 11 a.m. Friday. She would not say if the removal was temporary or permanent in the new Trump administration.

The information is used by advocacy groups and other members of the public to look up information on commercial dog and horse breeders, some of whom have had a history of abuse. The reports included lists of animal welfare violations at those facilities and also at animal testing labs, and whether those violations have been corrected.

In place of the online database is a new message from the department saying it is “implementing actions to remove documents” related to the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act that contain personal information.

The records have been removed “based on our commitment to being transparent, remaining responsive to our stakeholders’ informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals,” the online message says.

The statement said the documents will still be available through Freedom of Information Act requests, which can be costly for the general public and sometimes take months or years to obtain.

Advocacy groups said the lack of documentation of violations would immediately affect their work.   ….”


Nephew Eugene says the price of the bumbling  neglect by HSUS President/CEO Wayne Pacelle and  former U. S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (D-IA) in not getting the  “Federal Rule” to remove the “Pads and Chains”  published in the Federal Register before December 20, 2016  is looming larger with each passing day.

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” Omar Kayyam

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and HSUS President/CEO Mr. Wayne Pacelle

Front Porch – Hilltop Market – Theta, Tennessee