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Animal Watch: Welfare records disappear from USDA website

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The Federal Department of Agriculture is under fire for removing animal welfare inspection reports from its website.

People wanting to check the reports, including welfare violations at commercial dog and horse breeding facilities and animal testing labs, are now instead greeted with the message, “USDA Animal Care Search Tool – DEACTIVATED."

The department says the decision isn't final, but, at this point, anyone seeking the information must submit a Freedom of Information Act request, which can take years to fulfill.

Animal rights groups are criticizing the decision.