(RPOA: Animal Legal Defense Fund is a national “animal rights” organization
with numerous Texas attorneys as members! We meet them at the state
legislature every session! They seek to change the legal status of animals
as “property”—where we can protect them—to “personhood” which
prohibits all use, breeding, sales and even “ownership!”)
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick III denied the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would have forced the USDA to make documents previously removed from several animal-welfare government databases available for public inspection.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a branch of the USDA, says it temporarily removed the data “as a precautionary measure” to protect individuals’ privacy. It claims that between 2012 and 2016, it has grown increasingly concerned about some of the information it was publicly posting, like names and addresses of certain businesses, some of which have been subjected to harassment and death threats after publication of eventually discredited accounts of animal abuse.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund and three other groups sued the USDA in February, claiming its Feb. 3 decision to abruptly pull the data offline has obstructed their missions to fight animal cruelty and monitor government enforcement. It says that despite the department’s reposting of many annual inspection reports, many documents that were previously available still aren’t, and the lack of up-to-date information could affect their membership and donor goodwill.