Based on the comments, a majority of people reading the article are not comprehending it very well. The information removed from the website will still be available. This is not a censorship or restriction of information. What it will do is affect PETA's ability to villefy ethical animal breeders and dealers.
Based on the article linked and a few others I've read today from various sources, the information deleted will only be available through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request. And who knows if that will include all of the information previously available or only certain portions.
So, yes, technically, it may still be available, but FOIA requests are generally not free, and can be very cumbersome and time-consuming to complete. Not to mention the information provided is often liberally redacted.
I don't see how it will discourage PETA and similar animal rights groups. They can make a FOIA request just like anybody else.
There's more I'd like to say, but I feel this topic is already veering close to being political, and those of us who have been around a long time know Leerburg has a strict "No Politics Discussed Here" policy. (For which I am grateful!)
It's past the window of time where I can edit my post, so I just want to make a little addendum. While it is true that we do not discuss politics on LB, I realized afterwards that the name of this section of the board is called "Dog Politics." So that's a little bit contradictory, I guess.
In the last paragraph of my post above, it was not my intent to discourage others from replying or commenting here. It does seem like a story worthy of the attention of anyone who cares about the welfare of animals, regardless of your position. I guess we'll just have to try real hard to keep "dog politics" separate from "other" politics.
If they have to fill out an FOIA request, it will slow them down. Also, it will prevent them from getting otherwise private info that may be protected by the FOIA. I do not believe that private organizations should have unrestricted access to reports from government agencies, and I do not believe that PETA and other groups that have had access to these reports have always used the info discriminately or even ethically.
What my first comment was directed at was the comment section of the article. A lot of people are up in arms because they think that publicly shared reports should remain so. These same people think that PETA is a humane organization just because they claim to be, and they think that the USDA must be hiding something. Not true. The info will still be available, but now you will have to go through proper channels to get it. PETA and others are playing the victim to generate empathy for their unwarranted cause.
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