Protestors to Decry USDA Discussion of Outsourcing Federal Animal Welfare Inspections

For Immediate Release:
January 17, 2018

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Santa Clara, Calif.What:    On Thursday, PETA supporters will attend and protest the first of four scheduled U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) “listening sessions” in which officials and stakeholders will discuss the possibility of privatizing oversight of facilities regulated under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Under current federal law and practice, USDA officials inspect regulated businesses, including puppy mills, roadside zoos, animal dealers, circuses, and animal-experimentation laboratories. Armed with signs proclaiming, “Don’t Let Animal Abusers off the Hook!” and “USDA: Don’t Privatize the Animal Welfare Act,” the protesters will then join the meeting during the time for public comments.

When:    Thursday, January 18, 8 a.m. (The USDA “listening session” begins at 9 a.m.)

Where:    Santa Clara Marriott, 2700 Mission College Blvd. (at the intersection with Freedom Circle), Santa Clara

“The federal Animal Welfare Act was enacted because industries such as university and commercial laboratories, roadside zoos, and puppy mills didn’t police themselves effectively,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the USDA not to put animals at the mercy of the very people making money off them.”

PETA notes that third-party accreditation does not guarantee that laboratories or other facilities will adhere to even minimal animal-welfare laws. For instance, 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 accreditation. Recent violations at such facilities include failing to give animals food and water, leaving injured and sick animals untreated, and scalding animals to death in automated cage washers.

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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