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On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the removal of inspection reports and other information about animal welfare at laboratory animal facilities, breeding operations, zoos, and other facilities.

The documents removed include inspection reports, regulatory compliance, research facility annual reports, and enforcement records that have not received final adjucation. Additionally, the lists of licenses and registrants under the Animal Welfare Act may also be removed, according to a statement on the USDA website.

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public.

The USDA said it made the decision after a "comprehensive review," citing privacy concerns and court rulings as factors.

The redacted information can still be obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Although the Trump administration has removed mention of climate change from the EPA website, it is unclear as of now whether the decision to remove all of this information from the USDA website was prompted by newly hired Trump officials, says the Washington Post.

The move to redact information has been divisive, even among those in the laboratory animal industry.

"I would certainly agree that protection of personal information is of utmost importance, given the rich history of targeting individuals involved in animal research,” Matthew Bailey, the president of the non-profit Foundation for Biomedical Research, told Nature.

However, Bailey also admitted that this decision will also make it more difficult to analyze trends in animal use in biomedical research.

Unsurprisingly, animal rights organizations are upset with the decision. Both PETA and Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! are protesting the removal.

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