Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Response to the USDA Removing Online Animal Welfare Reports

Posted on February 6, 2017

Contact: Natalia Lima,, 201 679 7088

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is dismayed by the sudden blackout of tens of thousands of critical U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports pertaining to animal welfare. These reports document inhumane treatment of animals and violations of the Animal Welfare Act by research labs, puppy mills, zoos, circuses and animal transporters. Revoking longstanding means of public access to these documents makes it more difficult, time-consuming and expensive for the public and animal protection groups to track compliance with federal law or to become aware of serious and repeat offenders. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has already begun evaluating all legal options, including suing the USDA

“Scrubbing Animal Welfare Act inspection reports from the internet is an affront to the transparency vital to our democracy,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The Animal Legal Defense Fund hopes the administration reverses course on this decision and will explore all available means to restore free and fair access to such vital public information.”


About the Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Animal Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, the Animal Legal Defense Fund files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. For more information, please visit


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