6 March 2017 Honesty, How the USDA’s New Privacy Policy Undermines Animal Welfare (Petful.com, Dr. Debora Lichtenberg), possible NOAA satellite funding cuts and outdoor chalk drawing

Hello family, how are you today?  It’s Monday, 3:33 pm as I write to you.  If I’m honest with you, I’m not sure how I’m doing.  I’m really not.  I’ve been pulling out my mental gratitude list a lot and that’s helped some.  Each time I do this, I find I have far more to be grateful for than to complain about!  It’s been very difficult for me these past few months to stay positive.

The word that came to me as I sit here today is Honesty.   I can remember as a kid I was dusting in my parents room and broke a figurine of my Mom’s.  Instead of telling her I broke it I tried to fix and cover it up that I had broken it.  Well I wasn’t good at either thing and I ended up getting caught and punished for what I had done and rightly so!  That’s how I was raised.  When you did something wrong you were expected to tell the truth about it or risk getting punished more severely for either an outright lie or a lie of omission.

Honesty is something I’m not seeing very much out of very many of our elected officials in this country and it’s downright disheartening and shameful.

When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.
Alan Paton

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.
Henri Bergson

Joy is not in things; it is in us.

Richard Wagner

More of what is going on you may not have known about in Washington:

http://www.jamestownsun.com/news/4227948-under-pressure-usda-restores-some-abused-animal-reports-website – I was surprised to hear this had happened!  I don’t think this was mainstream news.


How the USDA’s New Privacy Policy Undermines Animal Welfare

Citing privacy concerns, the USDA has scrubbed welfare reports and animal abuse data from its website.

With the USDA’s new privacy policy, puppy mill operators have little incentive to cease. By: Nikita Kravchuk

Petful does a great job keeping us up to date on animal welfare issues.

In the last month, animal welfare has suffered an enormous setback — and everyone should be aware of it. Animal welfare reports and animal abuse data have been obliterated from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.

Let’s unpack what this means.

The Way It Used to Be

Before February 2017, a person could find out if animal laboratories, puppy mills, horse farms, animal transporters, breeders, small circuses and other animal enterprises were abusing animals, not passing USDA inspections or creating unnecessary or unethical pain.

For example, you could look up certain puppy mills and find out if the operation was breeding dogs until they died or keeping moms and puppies in stench-filled hovels.

Now, no one will have access to this and other important animal welfare information anymore. More importantly, animal welfare activists and watchdog organizations (no pun intended) won’t be able to ascertain this information either.

How It Is Now

In order to access USDA information regarding inspection reports at about 9,000 animal facilities, an individual or organization will now have to file a request under the Freedom of Information Act. These requests can take years.

The obliteration of these records not only means the information cannot be checked by a concerned individual — it also means the people and employees running these facilities have very little incentive to obey regulations.

Even when the USDA information was available, many animals at these facilities were suffering because guidelines were being broken by researchers, animal handlers and inhumane puppy mill operators. Now that they will have even less incentive to take proper care of the dogs, cats and kittens, rabbits, horses, monkeys and other animals in their care, the result does not look good for improving the welfare of these poor animals.

The Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act may exist, but they aren’t necessarily enforced.

The welfare of cats, horses and other animals are also undercut by this new policy. By: Max and Dee Bernt

The Humane Society’s Response

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) said, “This action benefits no one except facilities who have harmed animals and don’t want anyone to know.” HSUS is threatening to pursue legal action if the USDA does not reverse this bad decision.

Why would the government block public access to information regarding animal welfare? HSUS says, “the posting of these documents has been an invaluable tool in rooting out some of the worst abuses that are occurring. Essentially, this is now going to give a bit of a get-out-of-jail-free card to horse soring, puppy mills, delinquent roadside zoos and animal research labs that are flouting the law.”

My Experience With a Laboratory Dog

The first dog I ever adopted on my own came from the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary School. Elvis, the walker hound, was thin and already de-barked when he became a part of our family.

A sweet laboratory assistant took tender loving care of these laboratory dogs at Penn. When I asked him where Elvis came from, he said, “An animal transporter, I guess.” An animal transporter obtains animals from shelters and pounds and sells them for research. Elvis was lucky enough to end up in a “no-kill” laboratory and finally in a loving home.

But who de-barked him, and why? Why was he in poor health when he arrived at the university? He seemed to have been somebody’s pet at a happier time in his life.

The trafficking of animals, the animal research complex and all other for-profit animal industries need all the regulation possible to ensure that the simplest of guidelines set forth under the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act are followed.

With the new lack of transparency at the USDA, I fear the worst.

This pet health content was written by a veterinarian, Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD. It was last reviewed March 1, 2017.

Editor’s Note: On Feb. 7, 2017, the USDA reposted a portion of the data it originally removed from its APHIS website due to the new privacy policy.

This one affects all of us and it is very upsetting to see why it may be happening: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/noaa-satellit-funding-cuts_us_58bcff7be4b0d2821b4efb52 – see link for entire article

Satellite shots by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are incredible, but who knows how long they’ll be on this Earth?

NOAA is yet another federal agency that President Donald Trump has targeted with funding cuts.

According to an Office of Management Budget memo obtained by The Washington Post, Trump hopes to slice NOAA’s funding by a whopping 17 percent. That would include cutting 22 percent ($513 million) from NOAA’s satellite date division, and axing another $216 million (26 percent) of funds from NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Some of the programs hit hard would be coastal management and developing ways to aid coasts in dealing with rising sea levels.

In an indication of how draconian the cuts could be, the memo inquires about ending leases on facilities and “property disposal.” As rationale for the cuts, the memo said the administration wants to “prioritize rebuilding the military.” –

I suspected this was why we are seeing what we are with the proposed elimination of complete government departments (EPA, Education, ACA etc), defunding and cutting of programs vital to the health, safety and well-being of the American people!  Why do we need a bigger military?  It is may be because one of the main sources of revenue for this country is from the manufacturing of arms and implements of war?!  Rather than do what’s right and hard, like fixing what is broken about our country, they seem to be intent on scrapping it all for profit and go the tried and true route of the war machine.      

https://www.nationalpriorities.org/cost-of/ – this site has a continuing tally of how much war has cost us, to date and what the money could be spent on instead:

Total Cost of Wars Since 2001

Cost To:

Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying
$8.36 million for Total Cost of Wars Since 2001.


7 comments on “6 March 2017 Honesty, How the USDA’s New Privacy Policy Undermines Animal Welfare (Petful.com, Dr. Debora Lichtenberg), possible NOAA satellite funding cuts and outdoor chalk drawing

  1. Jackie, stand in your own power, my dear, do what you are able to do. This work is about expanding and shifting Consciousness. Trust it is enough. 😉 xoxoM

  2. We have seen how the FOIA use of the USDA-Aphis logs has led to owner, breeders, and the biomedical community has become targets of animal related terrorists. Perhaps only one reason the logs were removed.
    What is bothersome we yet do not have a clear understanding of the term abuse. Animal rights believe that containing a dog in a crate four hours a day is abuse, when dogs normal sleep is 12-18 hours a day,when at times we need to think of the safety for the dog in question. Perhaps abuse is not letting a dog and other animals just to be left alone with no human interference as non-abuse, equating human contact as abuse. Of course, humans are charged with destroying “mother earth” so not surprising that the philosophical movement of animal rights show quite a bit of misanthropy toward humans. All the philosophical ideaology all rolled into one ball gives a complex picture of animal rights. It appears to be a movement against humanity or the reverse of the Great Chain of Being, where humans were for 400 years, very near the top of the scale of important being and “things”.

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