Two weeks after White Coat Waste Project first broke the news about the USDA inexplicably deleting its animal welfare database, the agency has bowed to pressure from WCW and our supporters, bipartisan Congress members and other advocates. As reported in the Washington Post, the USDA has begun restoring access to documents about government laboratories and other taxpayer-funded animal experimentation facilities.
The USDA’s reversal of course is a major victory for animals, taxpayers and government transparency. We’re proud to have played a role in exposing and ending the government’s attempt to shroud $15 billion in taxpayer-funded animal experimentation in even more secrecy than is already plaguing it.
If you haven’t already, please urge Congress to support the bipartisan FACT Act to secure more transparency and accountability about wasteful government animal testing.
First posted on February 4, 2017:
Yesterday, the White Coat Waste Project was on Capitol Hill with a bipartisan group of Congress members celebrating the introduction of important new legislation, the FACT Act, to increase transparency about secretive and wasteful government animal testing.
Ironically, today we woke up to the discovery that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had–without notice or any cogent explanation–taken down its entire animal welfare database.
WCW explained how the now-defunct USDA website contained critical information about how many dogs, cats, monkeys and other large mammals are used in government laboratories and other taxpayer-funded experimentation facilities, whether they are subjected to pain, and whether the facilities are in compliance with federal animal welfare laws (a condition of receiving taxpayer funding). While it was far from perfect, WCW relied heavily on this resource to identify waste and abuse, including for our high-profile exposé of dog experimentation by the Department of Veterans Affairs and other government agencies.
For months, we’ve been working with a bipartisan group of House and Senate members to improve transparency and accountability about taxpayer-funded animal experiments. Now, this work is more important than ever. With the USDA blackout, we have no way of knowing how many dogs, cats and other animals are being abused in laboratories.
This is not a partisan issue. A recent national poll found that two-thirds of voters—73% of Republicans and 68% of Democrats—want more transparency about taxpayer-funded animal testing and that six in 10 want to cut federal funding for animal experiments.
Please click below to write your members of Congress and urge them to cosponsor the FACT Act to secure much-needed transparency about taxpayer-funded animal experiments!