Target: Peter Rhee, USDA Director of Digital Communications
Goal: Demand the USDA restore the animal abuse records on its website.
The USDA website has taken down its portal to records of animal cruelty, claiming that it wishes to protect the personal information of those listed as abusers. However, the reports have never listed any personal information. While the true motives and reasoning behind this move are not 100 percent clear, it is believed that the USDA may have been under pressure from the Trump administration.
Whatever the reason, this is a very poor decision on the part of the USDA. These records of animal cruelty are important for preserving the well-being of animals; as of right now the only way to access the records is to request them via the Freedom of Information Act, and such requests take a burdensomely long time to process. An issue like animal cruelty is far too important to be wrapped up in red tape.
Tragic though it is, animal abuse is far more common than many people think — from violence towards pets and strays, to cruel circus acts, to mismanagement of livestock — and keeping accessible records of such atrocities helps to spread awareness and fuel the fight for animal welfare. Sign this petition to demand that the USDA restore the portal to these records immediately.
Dear Director Rhee,
Your deletion of the portal to animal abuse records from the USDA website was a poor decision, and I would like to voice my opposition. You claim that it is to protect personal information, but the records have not shared this type of information in years. They tell only the story of the abused animals — information that the public has a right to know
These records are much too important to be blocked by red tape. Right now, the only way to obtain the information needed to stop animal cruelty is via requests per the Freedom of Information Act, and those often take much too long to process. Cruelty towards pets, wild animals, strays, and livestock must be stopped quickly, and these records play an integral role in spreading awareness and fueling this fight.
Do not allow animals to come to harm by shielding the public from records of their abuse. Put the portal to those records back on your website immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mercy for Animals