The Animal Welfare Accountability And Transparency Act Has Just Been Introduced In The U.S. Senate Challenging USDA Database Purge

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The Animal Welfare Accountability And Transparency Act S 503 was introduced last week in response to the USDA’s removal of online databases from its website; by numerous Democratic Senators including Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Sen. Robert Menendez and Sen. Cory Booker both Senators of New Jersey.

According to GovTrack, the bill requires “the Secretary of Agriculture to make publicly available certain regulatory records relating to the administration of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the use of an alternative depreciation system for taxpayers violating rules under the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act, and for other purposes.”

While some of the purged documents have been returned, thousands are still missing.

As noted in the Daily Koz, Wyden stated at the time that “Ending animal cruelty starts with getting the facts out there. The USDA’s partial restoration of public information that was inappropriately hidden from Americans is a recognition that this information never should have been taken down in the first place. I am working on ways to permanently make sure this information stays public in order to give Americans the information they need to hold puppy mill operators and other animal abusers accountable.”

Beagle Freedom Project, in association with other animal welfare orgs, have already filed a suit against the USDA, and were “heartened by this additional Congressional response.”

“Just as the public can use the internet to look at the sex offender registry, and learn about the crimes against children those people committed,” explained Kevin Chase of Beagle Freedom Project who is urging people to contact their Senators and Representatives to support the bill. “We need to be able to look at the USDA animal abuser registry and learn about the crimes that laboratories have committed.” 

Source: GovTarck, Daily Koz
Photo Credits: newsnation.in, Dogtime, Hinesdale Humane Society

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