US Government removes animal welfare information from website
Animal experiments shrouded in secrecy
Last week, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) removed all animal welfare information from its website.
This includes key information about the treatment of animals at thousands of laboratories and other facilities including circuses, zoos and puppy mills.
The USDA claims that the information has been removed to protect the “privacy rights of individuals”. However, we think this claim is dubious as it was already common practice to redact the names of individuals from public reports.
The facility inspection reports that have now been removed were a key resource for monitoring the use of animals in US laboratories.
Inspection reports we were previously able to access documented recent violations of the Animal Welfare Act at the University of California Davis. This included evidence about infant monkeys who had been housed in total isolation for four months, and a monkey who broke his leg after being restrained to a board for 4 hours.
This type of information will now only be obtainable through Freedom of Information Act requests, which can take months or years to receive. The result is that the 1200 US laboratories that use animals in experiments and are covered by the Animal Welfare Act are now even more cloaked in secrecy.