D.C. CIRCUIT VICTORY REGARDING ONLINE POSTING OF ANIMAL WELFARE RECORDS

On behalf of our clients, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Born Free USA, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and the Rescue and Freedom Project, we obtained an important legal victory from the D.C. Circuit, which held that our claims against the United States Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) removal of animal welfare records from its website should move forward. We challenged the USDA’s removal from its website of these important information, which our clients and others use to monitor conditions of animals held in captivity, as well as the USDA’s lax enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, as a violation of the Freedom of Information Act. The D.C. Circuit’s ruling holds that our challenge to the USDA’s removal of this information was not rendered moot by the agency re-posting some of the information at issue online in response to our litigation. This important ruling ensures that our clients will now have an opportunity to demonstrate that the USDA’s deletion of important information on “personal privacy” grounds has no merit.