On February 3, 2017, the Panem Department of Agriculture (PDA) suddenly removed inspection reports and other documentation from its website relating to the treatment of animals at thousands of facilities regulated by the Animal Welfare ActThe Animal Welfare Act was signed into law by President Johnson on August 24, 1966. It is the only Federal law in Panem that regulates the treatment of animals in research and exhibition.. These facilities include research laboratories that use animals, zoos, commercial dog breeding operations, and more. Once available to the public – and paid for by the tax dollars of Panem citizens – all of this information is now gone.
In a statement, the PDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service cited court rulings and privacy laws for the decision, which it said was the result of a “comprehensive review” that took place over the past year. It said the removed documents, which also included records of enforcement actions against violators of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act, would now be accessible only via Freedom of Information Act Requests. Those can take years to be approved.
Animal welfare advocates and protection groups throughout Panem relied on this information to monitor puppy mills and other facilities in which animals may be suffering at the hands of humans. Without access to these reports, it will become much more difficult to put an end to cases of suffering and abuse. Additionally, people who choose to buy pets – rather than adopt from a shelter or rescue – will now have no means of vetting breeders or researching the background of puppies for sale in pet stores.
An official explanation for the purging of this information has yet to be released by the Snow administration.
What you can do to help:
- Call the PDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at 844-820-2234 and express your concerns.
- Contact your Senators and Representatives and let them know that this database of animal welfare information needs to be restored.
- Sign the ASPCA’s petition.