USDA reposts some online animal welfare records

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on the USDA’s decision to remove animal welfare records from its website (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reposted some animal welfare records following complaints from animal rights groups and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

The records posted Friday do not include inspection reports on other animal facilities such as horse and dog breeding centers.

The agency’s decision earlier this month to remove the online database angered animal welfare groups and Schumer, who on Friday had urged the USDA to reconsider.

The USDA says it removed the information as part of an effort to balance government transparency with personal privacy. It says more reports could be reposted following an ongoing review of what information it puts online.

The Associated Press first reported on the USDA removing the inspection reports earlier this month.

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8:55 a.m.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer says the federal Department of Agriculture under President Donald Trump has backtracked on animal welfare by deleting an online database of inspection reports on animal facilities such as dog breeding centers.

The New York Democrat says Friday that the database helped expose puppy mills and other inhumane facilities. He has written the USDA urging it to reconsider the decision, which he says puts animals at risk. Schumer says the USDA inspects about 9,000 breeding centers, laboratories and other animal facilities annually.

In a statement on its website, the USDA says an ongoing review of its online information began before Trump took office. It says the changes are intended to balance transparency with personal privacy and that the information can be requested through open records requests.

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