People are trying to make sure no one gets away with hurting animals - and a lawsuit filed Monday against a U.S. government agency is fighting back against the sudden purging of animal welfare information from a government website.
Inspection reports and annual reports of roughly 9,000 animal facilities across the country - which have been openly available to the public for a decade - were scrubbed from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website earlier this month, claiming there were privacy concerns.
The USDA is in charge of enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Horse Protection Act (HPA). The recently disappeared reports include information about SeaWorld, dog breeders and puppy mills, zoos, circuses (including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus) and taxpayer-funded animal testing labs, among others. Animal welfare groups that used those reports to stand up for animals were shaken by the sudden removal.