"The USDA has stripped animal protection organizations of a critical tool needed to identify and address the worst puppy mills," Kelsey Eberly, staff attorney Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), told The Dodo. "The USDA's rash decision also keeps consumers in the dark, preventing them from determining whether pet stores are sourcing their puppies from abysmal breeders ... This marks a major step backward which will severely harm animals and those who work to protect them."
To take action against this lack of transparency, you can file a request for information through FOIA. To ask that this information be made easily available again, you can sign this petition. To help CAPS conduct investigations into puppy mills, you can make a donation.
The USDA did not immediately reply to The Dodo's request for comment.
Update: Tanya Espinosa, public affairs specialist for legislative and public affairs at USDA-APHIS, replied to The Dodo on Tuesday morning. "The FOIA request is supposed to take 20 business days to process," Espinosa said. She also sent along a statement issued to her by the USDA-APHIS: