Companies critical of government regulations believe the USDA doesn't have the authority to oversee animal welfare standards in the food industry. Under Trump's administration we will be seeing profit driven goals for food companies while rolling back protections favoring animal welfare.
“Scrubbing Animal Welfare Act inspection reports from the internet is an affront to the transparency vital to our democracy,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The Animal Legal Defense Fund hopes the administration reverses course on this decision and will explore all available means to restore free and fair access to such vital public information.” - Animal Legal Defense Fund
'Big Food' companies fear that any progress on animal welfare could leach onto their business causing prices to rise and profits to sink. They also want to avoid any scrutiny from consumers. Under Trump's administration their dreams are coming true.
The new regulations essentially mean that violations against the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act will only become accessible after submitting a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) — which can take several years to get approved.
With less transparency farmed animals are at greater risk of living in horrible conditions while companies make money off of them. Orders like what just went into effect by Trump's administration pave an unrestricted path for factory farms to practice profits before life where animals are collateral damage. It's cheaper to cram more animals into less space and with no one knowing, no one watching, and no one saying no. What's to stop the way animals are treated?
Reported in Bipartisan Article:
"The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health inspection Service released a statement claiming the decision came after a “comprehensive review”. According to the statement posted to their site, “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. Going forward, APHIS will remove from its website inspection reports, regulatory correspondence, research facility annual reports, and enforcement records that have not received final adjudication. APHIS will also review and redact, as necessary, the lists of licensees and registrants under the AWA, as well as lists of designated qualified persons (DQPs) licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations.” (source)
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The federal judge who temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's immigration order represented the disadvantaged and refugees before he was nominated by then-President George W. Bush. Judge James Robart, who presides in Washington state, was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate in 2004.
1) He went from private practice to the federal bench
James L. Robart has been a federal judge in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington state since 2004, the year after Bush nominated him to the federal bench. He assumed senior status in 2016.
Born in 1947 in Seattle, Robart graduated in 1969 from Whitman College and in 1973 from Georgetown Law School, where he was administrative editor of the Georgetown Law Journal, according to his official biography on the US District Court's website. He was in private practice in Seattle with the firm Lane Powell Moss & Miller from 1973 to 2004, serving as managing partner in 2003 and 2004.
2) He's known for community service
During his confirmation hearing, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington praised Robart for his "generous sense of community service through his work with at-risk and special needs youth."
Read more about 3 through 5
3) This is the first time he's been in the news
4) He's done pro bono work with refugees
5) He sees court system as means to help people
SEE THE FULL ARTICLE ABOUT JAMES L. ROBART
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