News

USDA Responds to Records Query With 1,700 Black Pages

Respected publication National Geographic received a pile of fully redacted documents from the government agency in response to a request for animal welfare records.

In February, iconic publication National Geographic (NatGeo) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in an effort to obtain animal welfare records. Last week, NatGeo revealed that it had received 1,771 fully redacted (blacked-out) pages in response from the USDA. In February, the USDA removed all records of violations of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act—which held animal abusers accountable for their actions—from its website. During that time, the USDA directed the public to file FOIA requests to obtain the mysteriously removed information. “They exposed abuses at roadside zoos, uncovered controversial government-funded animal experiments, and revealed the mistreatment of circus elephants,” NatGeo writer Natasha Daly said. “They confirmed dog breeders weren't running puppy mills and that horse trainers weren’t exploiting their racers and jumpers.” Animal law and policy fellow at Harvard University Delcianna Winders made a similar request to the FDA and recently received the exact same response. “It was as if someone had spilled a bottle of black dye across the pages,” Winders said, adding, “Not only is the USDA concealing how it's regulating companies that use animals, but now it's defying the public's right to know why.” Several lawsuits have been filed against the USDA by animal-rights organizations including those by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Humane Society of the United States, and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Winders filed an appeal to the redacted documents with the USDA on May 1.

More News

Green Day and Kat Von D Collaborate on Vegan Eyeliner

Billie Joe Armstrong has teamed with vegan beauty mogul Kat Von D on her upcoming, animal-friendly makeup product.
Read More »

All-You-Can-Eat Vegan Pizza Night Hits Liverpool

Liverpool's Santa Maluco entices diners with unlimited wood-fired vegan pizzas featuring mock duck, vegan cheese, and Big Mac sauce.
Read More »

Danone's New Vegan Brands Drive $760M Profit Spike

The $12.5 billion acquisition of WhiteWave—known for its plant-based brands—proves to be a profitable move for the French yogurt brand.
Read More »

Steakhouse Debuts Vegan Menu to Attract New Diners

Historic New World Inn in Pensacola, Florida will now offer cauliflower steaks, mushroom Reubens, and banana chia-seed pudding at its fine-dining steakhouse restaurant.
Read More »

Vegan Cupcakes Debut at Starbucks

Select South Florida locations of the major coffeehouse will now stock vegan passionfruit cupcakes courtesy of local vegan bakery Bunnie Cakes.
Read More »

This Week on VegNews TV: The secret to these delightful sweet treats is white beans! Aylin Erman shows you how to make these simple blondies.

More Videos »