Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture shut down a database that includes information about mistreated, injured, or killed farm animals. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service cited privacy concerns in taking down the website information. A CNN Dot Com article quotes an animal activist group saying the agency bowed to pressure from groups that don’t want the information so accessible. The USDA’s website had posted information that included official warnings, pre-trial settlements, administrative complaints, and inspection reports. An announcement from APHIS says the agency made the move to take out certain personal information from website documents involving the Horse Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act. Michael Budkie (Bud-key), Executive Director of Stop Animal Abuse NOW!, says the information that was taken down already had redacted sections. “The documents they removed contain virtually no personal information,” Budkie says, “this is not about privacy.” He says the move was made due to pushback from industries that he says “exploit animals.” Documents that had been part of the website information must now be requested under the Freedom of Information Act, a process that can take months.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
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