Senators Ask USDA to Restore Records on APHIS Website

The senators say the public has the right to know if the Horse Protection Act has been violated and by whom.

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A group of U.S. Senators have signed a letter asking the USDA to restore animal cruelty law violation records to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.

Earlier this month, APHIS announced it would remove certain personal information from documents it posts on its website, including information about Horse Protection Act (HPA) and Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations. The agency enforces the HPA, which forbids soring. The agency also said it would review and redact, as necessary, the lists of designated qualified persons (who carry out HPA compliance inspections) licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations.

Individuals seeking information from APHIS about inspection reports and enforcement-related matters would have to submit a Freedom of Information Act request., the agency said.

The decision to remove the information from its website was the result of a comprehensive review of information posted on the APHIS website, the agency said. Since APHIS’ announcement, several animal welfare organizations have called on the USDA to restore the information on grounds that its vital to public interest

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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