Amid outcry, some animal welfare documents restored to USDA website

Some of the animal welfare documents that were abruptly purged from a Department of Agriculture database early this month were restored last week, days after animal rights groups filed a lawsuit to make the records public again.

The documents that were restored to the database include inspection reports for research institutions and certain federal labs that work with animals. Similar reports on the treatment of animals at zoos, breeding operations and animal transporters — which represent the vast majority of facilities that the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service oversees — are still unavailable.

The database is maintained by APHIS, in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act.