I just received this alarming news. Please help us get the animal use data restored. Don’t let the already slippery slope we’re on get any slipperier.
In a shocking move, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has just—without warning—deleted its current information pertaining to the use of animals in research from its website.
As part of what it calls online “updates,” APHIS has removed “inspection reports, regulatory correspondence, research facility annual reports, and enforcement records that have not received final adjudication.” It also notes that moving forward, it will “redact, as necessary, the lists of licensees and registrants under the Animal Welfare Act.”
Also now missing from the website is the Animal Care Information System Search Tool, an interactive database which allowed users to acquire customized reports from the website, including information such as which research facilities are using animals, and the numbers and kinds of animals they were using.
These records pertaining to federally-funded animal research are now gone, wiped clean.
This is information which NAVS—along with animal advocates all across the country—relies upon in order to understand the scope of animal use in our country, and to measure the implementation of the reduction, refinement and replacement of animal use in science.
Considering that a vast majority of animal research is carried out at least in part with public funds, the public should have access to basic information on animal use, without needing to file potentially costly and time-consuming Freedom of Information Act requests, which is what we are now advised to do.
I am appalled at this unprecedented move, which comes at a time when the public—and members of Congress—are speaking up in record numbers in support of increased transparency and accountability. Unfortunately, the federal government has just made it clear that transparency and accountability are no longer on the table.
NAVS is NOT going to accept this latest attempt to hide information from the public—and I hope you will join us. Please SIGN OUR PETITION demanding that APHIS restore its animal use data IMMEDIATELY. Thank you!