Keep the USDA Transparent and Accountable
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The USDA is charged with ensuring the millions of animals in roadside zoos, puppy mills, and research labs across the country receive the basic care required by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Despite this mandate, the USDA fails year after year to fulfill its duty.
Now the USDA proposes action that could dramatically reduce government oversight of facilities like puppy mills. Under the proposal, USDA would decrease inspections at facilities that obtain certifications from industry groups (in other words an organization that represents the interests of roadside zoos could “certify” roadside zoos). These industries profit from abuse and will not be accountable to the public or the animals.
Click here to go to the regulations.gov page and submit a comment to the USDA urging it to reject self-policing. We’ve provided a sample to help you compose your message. But comments should be in your own words. So please take a few minutes to explain why you care about this issue before submitting.
“As a taxpayer, I expect our government agencies to enforce the law. I strongly object to the USDA’s proposed plan to decrease Animal Welfare Act (AWA) inspections in deference to industry groups – allowing entities like roadside zoos, puppy mills, and research labs to largely police themselves. To ensure transparency and accountability, Animal Welfare Act licensees must be regularly inspected by USDA officials.”
We are holding the USDA accountable – thanks to an Animal Legal Defense Fund lawsuit, a court recently ruled that the USDA can no longer automatically rubberstamp license renewals for facilities it knows frequently violate the AWA.
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms roadside zoo’s substandard care of endangered animals violated federal law.April 11, 2018 Press Release