Demand Congressional Investigation into Puppy Mill Abuses Allowed by USDA

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Originally Posted: 30 May 2010

Demand Congressional Investigation into Puppy Mill Abuses Allowed by USDA

FROM Last Chance for Animals (LCA)

Tell Congress to launch an immediate investigation to demand that the minimal protections of The Animals Welfare act be enforced. A scathing federal report has documented years of abuse inside licensed dog dealers without meaningful penalties or enforcement actions from the USDA.

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INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has found lax enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act which led to continued suffering and even death for animals due to lack of enforcement actions. The report documents incidents where USDA inspectors neglected to cite offenders or confiscate animals to save their lives.

Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a leading advocate for companion animals, is calling for a Congressional investigation of the USDA.

"The USDA has allowed puppy mills and B-Dealers to murder and maim animals without penalty," said Chris DeRose, President Last Chance For Animals. "After 20 years of OIG audits, nothing has changed. It is time for Congressional oversight hearings."

The OIG has conducted repeated audits on animal care in 1992, 1995 and 2005, each time finding that APHIS could not ensure the humane care and treatment of animals at all dealer facilities as required by AWA.

LCA's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has investigated puppy mills all over the country including in the very same areas where the OIG did their investigation. We have documented countless violations of the AWA over the years at government sanctioned puppy mills.
In the latest report APHIS released May 25, 2010, the OIG found:

  • Out of 4,250 violators of the AWA, 2, 416 repeatedly violated the same statute, including 863 reoffending in the same subsection.
  • That inspectors typically take no enforcement action against first-time violators, even if a direct violation is found.
  • Inadequate enforcement against repeat violators -- and when instructions specified a stronger action such as stipulation or litigation, inspectors were allowed to recommend a more lenient option.
  • Even in extreme circumstances where animals are dying or suffering APHIS added a provision requiring that the violator be given a final opportunity to take corrective action before confiscation can occur.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!