APHIS removes animal welfare data
In a move that an Obama administration Agriculture Department official has described as “subjective,” the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Friday removed certain personal information from its website involving the Horse Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act.
The agency said “Going forward, APHIS will remove from its website inspection reports, regulatory correspondence, research facility annual reports and enforcement records that have not received final adjudication. APHIS will also review and redact, as necessary, the lists of licensees and registrants under the AWA, as well as lists of designated qualified persons (DQPs) licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations.”
APHIS described the decision as the result of a year-long review, but Matt Herrick, a former communications director for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, tweeted that the decision was “subjective.”
Herrick is now with Story Partners, a communications firm, but tweeted his view of the decision on his personal account.
Animal welfare groups said the change would make it harder to monitor animal abuse. ❖
— The Hagstrom Report