"Being in the dark only protects those who have abused animals and gotten caught"

Mar 21, 2017

Credit Michelle Riley/The HSUS

Tens of thousands of animal welfare documents were removed from the USDA's website at the beginning of February, and although some have been reposted, local and national animal welfare advocates continue to press the USDA to restore them.

The USDA maintains the records were removed in an ongoing effort to "balance the need for transparency with rules protecting individual privacy." 

The Animal Welfare Act oversees research labs, zoos, circuses and animal breeders: almost eight thousand facilities.

And Christine Coughlin, the Minnesota State Director of the Humane Society of the United States, says access to those records by Minnesota journalists turned up reports of puppy mill abuses that led to Roseville becoming the first city in the state to ban the commercial sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.