Protecting Businesses That Use Animals At Last

A long one that I hope is worth the read:

Of course this is CNN-So quick to take the low road as if the USDA database indicated animal abuse-which it does NOT.

The USDA data base referred to is nothing more than inspection reports filed by USDA inspectors of their opinion following an unannounced inspection that were wrongfully placed on line. Fanatical Animal Rights Terrorists (FARTS) would then use those reports to claim animal abuse even when clearly none existed.

Rather than inspection reports to be used strictly by the agency as a reference for regulation requirements to be met or cites corrections that a facility needs to meet, it became a tool used improperly to focus claims against a facility owner. Government data in the wrong hands enabling and enhancing the Fanatical Animal Rights Terrorist/Activist gave them power to invade and destroy American Animal Culture. -By placing that information on line, it clearly allowed for attacks on private animal businesses quickly and easily by FARTS.

In the past, anyone wanting to view an inspection report was required to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request information and certain information would be redacted for the protection of someone who held a permit. By inspection reports being offered as a database on the Internet for open viewing, it allowed anyone to search for anything and target a facility faster than they might be able otherwise. Rather than required to apply the FOIA request and leaving behind tracking information on who made the request so that there would be a way to track who had searched for information and also informed the owner of a USDA regulated facility, that someone had made a request.

Bear in mind, the data base included all facilities from animal laboratories to dog breeders, exhibitors both zoos and traveling exhibitors are well as pet shops. The database was all inclusive of ALL facilities thereby allowing for massive attacks from FARTS mis-using the information supplied including for frivolous lawsuits in courts against an owner with judges who are sympathetic and with a knee jerk emotional reaction for their judgement rather than realizing that the Animal Welfare Act is unconstitutional and against American Animal Culture. The Animal Welfare Act has been in effect for sometime and yet to be challenged in any constitutional court of law.

Steps were also taken by the USDA for routes of traveling exhibitors to be supplied earlier than a few days notice which once supplied to the USDA becomes known to FARTS for protests and demonstrations. Protests to any animal business where on the Internet, in the media or in the street, does serious harm to any business no matter how right or wrong the protest is based on. Of course protesting is a fundamental first amendment right however, it is not anyone’s right to infringe on the rights of others to not be able to conduct business as usual-Frankly I consider protests on any animal business a violation of AETA-if we are to continue with things the way they are, it should be noted within the USDA regulations that protests are not to be conducted within a minimum of 5 miles of any animal business location-No one would be stopping the fanatics right to protest but instead, where they would be allowed to protest, that animal business would be able to conducted as business as ‘usual’ as it is intended. The harassment needs to stop. The first step of course is to turn off the government data base from being available 24/7 to whoever wishes access.

Frankly if any actual animal abuse existed, the USDA inspector had encountered at the time of inspection, is a sever case of actual animal abuse, it would have been handled accordingly and quickly.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/04/us/usda-animal-abuse-database/index.html

USDA removes online database that included animal abuse; activists cry foul

(CNN)The United States Department of Agriculture shut down an online database Friday that included information about animals mistreated, injured and killed.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) cited privacy concerns in removing the documents, but one animal welfare activist said he believes the department is caving to pressure from groups that didn’t like the information being so easily accessible.
For more than a decade the USDA’s website posted official warnings, settlements made before trial, administrative complaints, inspection reports and research facility annual reports.
“APHIS, during the past year, has conducted a comprehensive review of the information it posts on its website for the general public to view,” the announcement reads. “As a result of the comprehensive review, APHIS has implemented actions to remove certain personal information from documents it posts on APHIS’ website involving the Horse Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act.”
Michael Budkie, the executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, said the information removed already had redacted sections.
“The documents that they have removed contain virtually no personal information. This is NOT about privacy,” Budkie said. “Our entire society is going online now. Whether it’s shopping, communicating or banking. What is our government doing? They are going off-line.”
Budkie, who regularly reviewed and downloaded documents from the database, provided CNN five examples he said he saved. Signatures, employee names and other information were blacked out.
“There has been tremendous pushback from the industries that exploit animals because the information in that database was used to publicize and expose the abuse of animals,” Budkie said. “Essentially this is going to help labs and animal dealers and animal breeders who break the law to remain undetected and out of the Michael Budkiepublic eye, because it will slow down the process of obtaining information.”
Documents that had been part of the online database now must be requested by filing a Freedom of Information Act request, a process that usually takes months.
“Records will be released when authorized and in a manner consistent with the FOIA and Privacy Act,” the USDA said in a statement emailed to CNN. “We remain equally committed to being transparent and responsive to our stakeholders’ informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals with whom we come in contact.”
Budkie provided to CNN a May 2016 inspection report of a university where animals were kept for research. The report detailed bighorn sheep that got 50 times too much of a drug three days in a row, two grizzly bears that had to be euthanized after they were not monitored properly, an injured rabbit, a rusty feed trough and a damaged dog kennel.
An annual report from another university showed it worked with more than 3,300 animals, 249 of which were used in experiments, research, surgery or tests that caused pain or distress to the animals that wasn’t treated with pain relieving or tranquilizing drugs.
PETA called the “abrupt” removal of the information shameful.
“Public taxes fund these agencies and the public should not be kept the dark because the feds would rather shield abusers than hold them accountable,” PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said in a statement.
A USDA spokeswoman did not respond to CNN’s request for more information beyond their initial written statement.
________________________________________
The implementation of the Animal Welfare Act and the lax concern for the welfare of private owners along with an animal owners right to privacy, has led to civil liberty abuse by the agency and this is the first time that this agency is recognizing and admitting ton that as a fact. After all the complaints from animal business owners over the years, the agency says OPPS!?!
Well, OPPS is just not good enough and frankly this should be followed up with a class action suit against the agency and the government for the unconstitutional implementation of the Animal Welfare Act in a court of constitutional law.
Any and all laws whether federal or state concerned with animals can only be written as a public safety issue and NOT for the concern for the welfare of animals. I say this NOT because I support cruelty to any animal but instead because we base all laws within the United States on the US Constitution. For a state to receive funds from the federal government for lawful enforcement, it must adhere to the US Constitution.
Therefore any regulation must met standards that protect the public from harm of incident which might include animal vaccinations, caging suitable to prevent contact and fencing that maintains a safe distance to keep people from approaching an animal. If the health of an animal could be a public safety issue then it could include food, water and shelter, nothing more.
FARTS would no longer be able to use the agency in a way that infringes on the rights of animal owners and the general public is NOT entitled to any data accumulated thru inspections -The USDA is a total with a waste of taxpayer money in this area. Unless its an issue that demonstrates an actual public safety issue then the USDA has no right to be used to harass private citizens from the constant use of information of inspection reports. Whether cited or indicating complete compliance. Note: I can recall a time when inspectors were actually required to find something wrong based on the theory that no one is perfect and no facility can be perfect.
I have been asked if I miss my business-The business-No, not this end of it-HA!
I miss my animals more than I could ever say but I do not miss the barrage of inspections, especially on the road when making changes and adjustments to satisfy an inspectors opinion was the most difficult even with a simplest of necessary changes.
We always cooperated to make corrections at the time of the visit so by the time an inspector returned with his or her report, that correction would be made. There were a few reasons for doing this:
1) Get it done and move on
2) All correction were to be completed within a timeframe decided on by inspector and would send out another inspector to make sure that the correction was made…at which time you would be required to go thru the entire process of another inspection…I always considered follow inspections a waste of my time and taxpayer money.
3) To demonstrate that writing up inspections was meaningless with corrections so easy to make until you reach a correction that is a task beyond quick inspection, done to cause major disruption in your business such as requiring a transport cage to be exactly one inch bigger and putting as unnecessary burden on your business. At that point you can and likely will request for more time to make that correction. Making a 1 inch change to 6 transport cages meant a major reconstruction and an expense that put a financial burden on the business; NOTE: There is no way any animal would benefit from making a transport cage an inch bigger and was considered harassment by us but did accomplish the impossible to remain in business but caused an unnecessary use of funds that could have been used for something that the animals would actually benefit from. What met the regulation one day did not met the regulations the next day after more than 10 years and based on an inspectors opinion. Of course we challenged that decision but to no avail as is usually the case with the decision of an inspector-even an inspector who was not familiar with the type and nature of your business.
For more than 2 decades I held a permit from the USDA and I can still follow the guidelines contained within the regulations if I were in then same business again today without referencing the blue book of regulations…nothing has changed.
When inspectors go beyond the actual guidelines and start writing up the most ridiculous corrections needed; corrections not even listed in the regulations, you realize that inspectors all have a different opinion of what they re to do to conduct a proper inspection. Frankly, it got to the point where it didn’t matter, an inspector wanted a correction whether part of the regulations or not; we jumped even before the reports were placed on the Internet.
Frankly we were never informed that those reports would be placed on the Internet and if we had any objection to it. It is possible that notice was sent that was not received and was surprised to see it there. It should also be noted that when the permit was dropped by a mutual agreement as I was no longer exhibiting but instead maintaining my group of animals; the reports disappeared. When I requested a FOIA of inspection reports, inter office memos and any complaints that had been filed, (etc ) I was told my records had been destroyed…To this day, I don’t believe that and instead believe that the USDA is likely required to keep all records, even when someone no longer has a permit. After all, that data was collected and recorded at taxpayer expense. I have seen cases against permit holders that go back 10 years so there is no way anyone is to believe that suddenly the USDA is destroying records for no apparent reason other than to keep me from taking any further action against the agency.
Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinions of others…Stay tuned -B
While I was working on this post, this came in as a comment to another post:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/why-did-the-usda-delete-thousands-of-animal-abuse-records-from-its-website

What do you think of this? My greatest concern is that public records were removed without public notice. Taken together with a number of other questionable initiatives not presented openly for public comment, especially the current plan to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, I find this troubling. I go back & forth between issues of privacy and issues of government transparency, but I’m not sure what to make of this.

My response:

My next post addresses the issue. If you have any question following that post please feel free to contact me with those questions.
I stand strong on one single point that no one is addressing -The implementation of the Animal Welfare Act goes beyond the issue of public safety. The US Constitution addresses laws and regulations and does not provide for the welfare of animals. To assume that a business that uses animals is committing cruelty is not a public safety issue in the first place. To dictate cage sizes or how an animal is provided for beyond a public safety would be concern for food, water and shelter but again I must state whether an animal has food, water or shelter is NOT a public safety issue. Vaccination for rabies would be a public safety issue. Realize that those guideline of the Animal Welfare Act does not concern the welfare of animals used for food-Humane consumption or animal; there is no inspection of any food sources until the issue of slaughter beginning that an animal must be able to walk on it’s own before slaughter. Frankly that would not actually indicate the health of any animal on it’s own.

Instead of concern for a true public safety issue, it is not monitored with regular inspections or guidelines or permits required. If anything should be of concern for a public safety issue for animals, either for exhibition or sale, they must be able to provide a clean health certificate at the time of the sale which oddly enough is not a requirement and instead left up to the buyer or the agreement between seller and buyer but not by USDA/APHIS law and becomes a civil issue.
Animals used for exhibition whether in a zoo or circus should have a clean health certificate yearly and permission showing that any problem an animal may have is not a public safety issue risk-That’s it -Anything else would be unconstitutional and considered illegal.

I also am of the school that animal cruelty laws do nothing for any animal and have nothing to do with any public safety issue.
Now I’m certain you may not like my opinion but I do not assume that any monitoring system dictating cage sizes or about the care an animal receives should be of concern when we have far less of a monitoring system for people and especially children which is of concern.

At a time with so much government waste of taxpayer money, there comes a time when you have to draw a line. The Animal Welfare Act with all it’s good intentions has become used in an effort for vegan based homegrown Fanatical Animal Rights Terrorists activities to the point where it has been stated by these activists that mere ownership is animal cruelty and filled the courts with people who did not and never would commit intentional animal cruelty and does not belong in the courtroom where real intentional crimes are held and delaying those cases. These very same people are making the lives of animals equivalent to that of children which they are not.

The inference that an animal does not have a voice is far from true. An animals voice is judged by it’s health and any animal owner that does not properly provide suffers from the consequence of allowing for the loss of an animals health and possibly it’s life. A loss of an animals life becomes a matter of a loss of valuable property.

Yes, there is an emotional commitment between animal and owner but in do way is there justification for laws concerning the care of that property to such a degree that valuable property is seized and given away.

Back to my opinion of the use of government data-Even as a taxpayer, you have no right to any government data beyond statistical data. You have no right to my address and phone-no right to know an inspectors OPINION of how I am caring for my animal and an inspector has no right to go beyond shoving regulations down my throat and not the same for someone else, as has been demonstrated by this agency. This applies to state agencies that have similar regulations or regulations that go beyond the regulations as prescribed by a federal agency.

In short, understand that I could go on and on over my opinion of these laws, their intent and how those laws and regulations are being used and abused for cases against people. There is much to be said about being human and in no way does any inspection demonstrate a proper enforcement of the law in consideration for a persons right to privacy and more importantly the right of ownership, and a persons ability to provide. The creation of these laws takes away a persons right according to state and US Constitution. -B

Insert of important information from this article to be noted not discussed above and requires no discussion other than to say with this decision comes the question why it was ever done in then first place as over the years many exhibitors were concerned with privacy issues and the mis-use of the information-Not necessarily because the needed to make corrections and certainly not because they got caught as implied-I guess taking the high road and taking people not only for their word but also their passion for their business and compassion for the animals in their care.

“The review was in place prior to the change of administration,” Tanya Espinosa, a public affairs specialist for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), told me via email.

Espinosa referenced an official statement from USDA that suggested the removal was in response to a court decision having to do with privacy, though she would not provide further details.

“Courts are continuously issuing decisions that provide agencies with guidance on interpreting and applying laws applicable to the release of information to the public by the Federal government,” the statement reads. “APHIS, with the support from the Office of the General Counsel, continuously monitors these sources of information and refinements to APHIS’ practices are made accordingly.”

The records removed included inspection reports, regulatory correspondence, research facility annual reports, and enforcement records related to animal welfare laws. Without a public database, it makes it much more difficult for special interest groups and the general public to keep tabs on how well these laws are being enforced. It also throws a wrench in some state laws, which require pet stores to ensure their breeders have no animal welfare violations.

Delcianna Winders, the academic fellow at Harvard University’s Animal Law & Policy Program, told me over the phone that the documents in the database were already redacted to remove private information such as signature and contact information. Winder calls the government’s explanation for why they were removed from the USDA’s website “Orwellian” and has filed a FOIA request for all the communication around this decision to try to find out precisely what prompted the removal.

“This is a really loud signal that the assault on transparency isn’t just about hot topics like climate change,” said Winders, “but even something we all agree on, that’s pretty innocuous, like animal welfare.”

________________________

The statements in both articles (follow the links) demonstrate the mis-use of this government data base information collected for government usage-Not to provide the general public with any information…That’s what Yelp is for, lol, not a government agency-and certainly NOT to be mis-used  by vegan based homegrown Fanatical Animal Rights Terrorists/Activists/Extremists…

 

 

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~ by topcatsroar on February 8, 2017.

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