We’ve been inundated by stories of what government websites have removed and censored since Trump’s swearing in ceremony last month. Among the most disturbing is the USDA censorship of animal welfare violation reports.
As of 11 a.m. on February 3rd, all information regarding animal welfare inspection reports had disappeared from the USDA website. Tanya Espinosa, a spokeswoman for the department, would not confirm if it was temporary or permanent.
When searched, the records have been removed and replaced with a message claiming the removal is “based on our commitment to being transparent, remaining responsive to our stakeholders’ informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals.”
Of course, the Trump administration’s quest for respecting the privacy of animal abusers is alarming to advocacy workers.
“What the USDA has done is given cover to people who neglect or harm animals and get cited by USDA inspectors,” said John Goodwin, director of the Stop Puppy Mills Campaign at The Humane Society of the United States.
“The public is no longer going to know which commercial dog breeders, horse trainers, which zoos, which research labs have horrible animal welfare track records.”
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