APHIS to Again Publicize Animal Welfare Violations
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced plans to publicize enforcement actions taken in response to violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Starting in June 2010, APHIS will issue monthly press releases that disclose (i) people and businesses charged with AWA violations, and (ii) information about closed enforcement cases and penalties levied. The agency has reportedly revived the practice, which was discontinued in 2002, as part of its crackdown on AWA offenses. “It is clear that certain repeat offenders are not taking issues of animal welfare and humane treatment seriously enough. In turn, APHIS will not only be moving more swiftly to take enforcement action, but we will be making information about those enforcement actions available to the public on our Website,” APHIS Administrator Cindy Smith was quoted as saying.