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Updates to APHIS’ Website Involving Animal Welfare Act and HPA Compliance Information



APHIS, during the past year, has conducted a comprehensive review of the information it posts on its website for the general public to view. As a result of the comprehensive review, APHIS has implemented actions to remove certain personal information from documents it posts on APHIS’ website involving the Horse Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act. Going forward, APHIS will remove from its website inspection reports, regulatory correspondence, research facility annual reports, and enforcement records that have not received final adjudication. APHIS will also review and redact, as necessary, the lists of licensees and registrants under the Animal Welfare Act, as well as lists of designated qualified persons (DQPs) licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations.
 
We can still publicly post a list of our licensees/registrants that we regulate under the Animal Welfare Act. Here is the link: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/SA_Regulated_Businesses. On that webpage, please click on List of Persons Licensed or Registered under the AWA to see the most up-to-date list. 
 
Those seeking information from APHIS regarding inspection reports, research facility annual reports, regulatory correspondence, lists of regulated entities, and enforcement related matters may submit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for that information. FOIA requests can be submitted here:  https://efoia-pal.usda.gov/palMain.aspx. Records will be released when authorized and in a manner consistent with the FOIA and Privacy Act. Also, consistent with recent amendments to the FOIA, if the same records are frequently requested records under the FOIA, and are subject to release under the FOIA and Privacy Act, APHIS will post the appropriately redacted versions to its website. In addition, some enforcement records (such as initial decision and orders, default decisions, and consent decisions) will continue to be available on the USDA’s Office of Administrative Law Judge’s website (https://www.oaljdecisions.dm.usda.gov).
 
It is our sincere hope that you appreciate our need to be equally committed to both transparency and protecting personal information.   
 
Thank you for your understanding.

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