Inspection records for breeders, animal businesses now available to public again

Inspection records for breeders, animal businesses now available to public again
A pet store in Florida says two pricey puppies have been stolen. They are offering $1,000 reward to get the American bully puppies back. (ActionNewsJax.com) (ActionNewsJax.com)

People looking to buy an animal from a breeder can now find out if the pet is coming from a safe and clean place again.

The inspection records for breeders and other animal businesses are being posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after they were pulled in 2017 over "privacy concerns."

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Last year, Congress took action to bring the records back and passed the Animal Welfare Act which requires the USDA to post the searchable database.

Rick Liebling is a dog owner and adopted his nine or ten-year-old dog Kodiak from a shelter.

Liebling said while he wouldn't personally buy a dog, he feels those looking to make a purchase should get full transparency from the businesses.

"I think transparency is always a good thing whether we're talking about dog breeders or anything else," Liebling said. "Some are going to be good and some and treat their animals fairly and with respect and some are there just for the money."

Animal rights groups had been pushing to make the records available again since they were pulled.

"Overnight, USDA took down tens of thousands of records that had previously been available and they were redacted. They vanished," Vice President of Federal Affairs for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Richard Patch said.

Patch said while this week's move is a step in the right direction, more work still needs to be done.

"They're still missing some functionality like the ability to search for records and enforcement records are missing," Patch said.

The USDA said within 60 days, it will put up the rest of the records and will post ones without redactions.