Alamy Stock Photo

Alamy Stock Photo

Prevent self-policing under the Animal Welfare Act

This action alert is for U.S. residents. International advocates, please visit Humane Society International.

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Dear Mr. Tuck,

I strongly object to the USDA using the results of third-party inspections to help determine the frequency of federal inspections needed at specific facilities including puppy mills, wildlife exhibitors, and laboratories to ensure compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. There are numerous problems with third-party inspections, including conflicts of interest that cause private inspectors to ignore violations, inspectors' ignorance of the law USDA is responsible for enforcing, and the absence of public transparency and accountability. The public would have no way of knowing if a puppy mill or other operation passed its third-party inspection, remaining accredited by a self-interested entity that collects dues from its members, and then bypassed USDA inspections because of its supposedly clean record.

Private, industry-lead inspections have contributed to the persistence of horse soring for decades, as found by the USDA's own Inspector General in its 2010 audit of the agency's Horse Protection Act enforcement. Please learn from that failed experiment and don't repeat the same mistake, which will harm animals and shortchange taxpayers, who expect the agency to carry out its responsibilities under the AWA.

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