Per a Press Release, they also hand delivered a petition with more than 134,000 signatures urging the agency to restore online records of inspections and violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act. The agency deleted thousands of USDA compliance records in February.
“I’m just one of millions across the country who demand transparency, and who demand decency from the USDA,” said Mara yesterday.
“It’s unfortunate that this is where we have to be today, but we deserve better than this,” Mara told The Hill following the rally.
“Public access to these USDA reports is critical to transparency and accountability. These records are necessary to implement federal laws and state laws, like those that require companies to work with breeders who have clean inspection reports. The American people should be able to use this information to make informed consumer decisions,” said Rep. McSally. “I led over 100 members of the House in authoring a letter calling on the Administration to restore online access to these thousands of USDA reports. Today 314,000 people and a wide coalition stand together to demand these reports be reposted.”
The USDA, without warning, deleted online access to thousands of reports published by the USDA detailing animal welfare inspection results for more than 9,000 licensed facilities that use animals, including puppy mills, zoos, circuses, roadside operations and animal research facilities.
Rep. McSally authored a bipartisan letter signed by 101 House members calling on the Administration to restore online access to these thousands of reports published by the USDA. It’s been four months since the records were purged. Since then, the Administration has re-posted a small batch of documents related to animal welfare inspections, but the majority of records have not been re-posted.