Outcry Over Animal-Welfare Inspection Outsourcing to Hit USDA Meeting

PETA Supporters to USDA: Reliance on Third-Party Programs Will Put the Fox in Charge of the Hen House—Undermining Animal Welfare and Transparency

For Immediate Release:
March 7, 2018

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Tampa, Fla. – As the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) meets in Tampa on Wednesday to hear public concerns about privatizing accreditation of laboratories, puppy mills, roadside zoos, circuses, and other businesses, PETA supporters will advise that reduced oversight and fewer inspections by federal inspectors will jeopardize the welfare of animals. Reliance on third parties to accredit animal facilities will also limit the public’s access to information about federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations and compliance.

A peer-reviewed study of USDA records shows that laboratories certified by the largest third-party accreditation firm violate the AWA more frequently than those without the accreditation. According to USDA records, laboratories certified by a third party have been found refusing to give animals food and water and leaving injured animals to die without any veterinary attention. One facility even left a surgical towel inside a pig after experimental abdominal surgery. And roadside zoos accredited by a third party have failed to provide sick and injured animals with basic veterinary care, resulting in prolonged suffering and even deaths.

When:    Thursday, March 8, 9 a.m.

Where:    Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, 4200 Jim Walter Blvd., Tampa

“Federal oversight is supposed to ensure that laboratories, roadside zoos, and puppy mills can’t cut corners at the animals’ expense,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is reminding the USDA that a hands-off policy will leave animals at the mercy of the very people making money off them.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind