Sen. Bob Menendez, 17 other Democratic senators urge USDA to restore animal cruelty data to website

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez is calling on the Trump administration to immediately restore animal cruelty information that was recently removed from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's animal and plant health inspection service's website.



The request came in a letter sent by the New Jersey senator and 17 other Democratic senators to the USDA's acting deputy secretary. It regards public inspection reports for all regulated entities and annual reports submitted by research laboratories.



Menendez said Monday that the public is entitled to the information and that posting it creates greater transparency, accountability and enforcement of animal cruelty laws.



A call seeking comment from the USDA on Monday was not immediately returned.



But a message posted on its website noted that the review of the APHIS' website is ongoing and said the agency is striving to balance the need for transparency with rules protecting individual privacy.



The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.




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