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Animal Law Podcast #46: The Case Against the USDA, Revisited

By Mariann Sullivan — March 27, 2019

On this episode of the Animal Law Podcast I welcome back to the Animal Law Podcast regular guest Delci Winders, who will give us updates on some interesting Animal Welfare Act cases. The first case deals with the blackout on the USDA’s website regarding information dealing with enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. In 2017 the USDA deleted many Animal Welfare Act records from its website, reversing what had been an automatic practice of posting those records as part of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This has resulted in enormous problems for animal welfare organizations, consumers, and others in trying to figure out which entities are in compliance with the Act.

The second case we discuss involves an update on the USDA’s practice of rubber-stamping license renewals for facilities regardless of their compliance history. The agency has recently set forth a proposal to resolve this unfortunate situation. Delci discusses the good, and the bad, about that proposal. She also tells us her views on what proper enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act would look like.

Delcianna J. Winders is PETA’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement. She recently completed two years as the first Academic Fellow of the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program and a visiting scholar position at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.  Her work has appeared in the Denver Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal, NYU Law Review and the Animal Law Review and she has a piece forthcoming in the Florida State Law Review as well as a forthcoming book chapter on the Endangered Species Act and captive wildlife. Winders has also published extensively in the popular press.

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