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FOIA News: Lawsuit aims to force USDA to repost scrubbed animal welfare records

FOIA News (2017)Kevin SchmidtComment

Lawsuit aims to force USDA to repost scrubbed animal welfare records

By Meredith Wadman, Science, Feb. 13, 2017

Put the records back on the internet. That’s the demand made in a lawsuit filed today against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by an animal law expert at Harvard University, together with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and several other animal welfare groups. The plaintiffs allege that USDA violated the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) earlier this month when it removed thousands of animal welfare inspection reports and other records from a publicly accessible website.

“Our lawsuit seeks to compel the USDA to reinstate the records, which it had no right to remove from its website in the first place,” said Delcianna Winders, currently the Academic Fellow of the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program, in a statement. “The government should not be in the business of hiding animal abusers and lawbreakers from public scrutiny."

Read more here.