UPDATED: Why Do Climate Deniers Hate Puppies? (and other living things)

May 15, 2017

Seriously. Puppies. And other living things.

UPDATE May 15, 2017: Washington Post:

The Trump administration has removed or tucked away a wide variety of information that until recently was provided to the public, limiting access, for instance, to disclosures about workplace violations, energy efficiency, and animal welfare abuses.

Some of the information relates to enforcement actions taken by federal agencies against companies and other employers. By lessening access, the administration is sheltering them from the kind of “naming and shaming” that federal officials previously used to influence company behavior, according to digital experts, activists and former Obama administration officials.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for instance, has dramatically scaled back on publicizing its fines against firms. And the Agriculture Department has taken off-line animal welfare enforcement records, including abuses in dog breeding operations and horse farms that alter the gait of racehorses through the controversial practice of “soring” their legs.

Officials also removed websites run by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department that provided scientific information about climate change, eliminating access. for instance, to documents evaluating the danger that the desert ecology in the Southwest could face from future warming. (On Friday, protesting against the disappearance of the EPA website, the city of Chicago posted the site online as it had existed under the Obama administration.)

Washington Post:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday abruptly removed inspection reports and other information from its website about the treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, zoos, dog breeding operations and other facilities.

In a statement, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service cited court rulings and privacy laws for the decision, which it said was the result of a “comprehensive review” that took place over the past year. It said the removed documents, which also included records of enforcement actions against violators of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act, would now be accessible only via Freedom of Information Act Requests. Those can take years to be approved.

“We remain equally committed to being transparent and responsive to our stakeholders’ informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals with whom we come in contact,” the statement said.

This, of course, will make it harder to bust puppy mills.

The records that had been available were frequently used by animal welfare advocates to monitor government regulation of animal treatment at circuses, scientific labs and zoos. Journalists have used the documents to expose violations at universities.

Members of the public could also use the department’s online database to search for information about dog breeders, as could pet stores. Seven states currently require pet stores to source puppies from breeders with clean USDA inspection reports, according to the Humane Society of the United States — a requirement that could now be impossible to meet.

Animal welfare organizations quickly condemned the removal of the information, which they called unexpected and said would allow animal abuse to go unchecked.

“The USDA action cloaks even the worst puppy mills in secrecy and allows abusers of Tennessee walking horses, zoo animals and lab animals to hide even the worst track records in animal welfare,” said John Goodwin, senior director of the Humane Society’s Stop Puppy Mills Campaign.

It kind of makes sense, when you realize that animals of all kinds will bear the harshest brunt of climate change.

ABC Australia Broadcasting:

Piles of dead turtle hatchlings are lining Queensland’s famous Mon Repos beach amid a heatwave which has pushed the sand’s temperature to a record 75 degrees Celsius.

While the majority of hatchlings break free from their nests at night when the sand is cooler, those escaping in the day face overheating.

turtlebabies

“They can’t sweat, they can’t pant, so they’ve got no mechanism for cooling,” Department of Environment and Heritage Protection chief scientist Dr Col Limpus said.

“If they encounter very hot sand they just simply heat up.

“They slow down and that’s the end for them.

“You really only have probably an hour or so in those really hot sands and it’s terminal.”

The extreme heat is also conducted down to the turtle’s nest, pushing the temperature to about 34C, which is approaching the lethal level for incubation.

That is the hottest temperature recorded in a nest in more than a decade.

“We’ve got an increased mortality … that we haven’t been seeing in years,” Dr Limpus said.

The average hatchling survival rate is 85 per cent but due to the heat it is likely to be a lot lower this year.

The exact number of turtle deaths is not known at this stage, but hundreds have been seen dead on the beach.

The 1.6-kilometre Mon Repos beach is the most important breeding site for Loggerhead turtles in the South Pacific.

UPDATE – Scientific American:

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which also oversees animals in circuses, zoos and those sold commercially as pets, says that making the data publicly available posed a threat to individuals’ privacy.

USDA spokesperson Tanya Espinosa would not specify what personal information the agency wanted to protect, but said that it would be impossible to redact it from all the tens of thousands of inspection reports, complaints and enforcement action documents that used to be public.

The decision is a result of the USDA’s “commitment to being transparent, remaining responsive to our stakeholders’ informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals”, according to a statement on the agency’s website. The records will still be available in redacted form through freedom-of-information requests. ”If the same records are frequently requested via the Freedom of Information Act process, APHIS may post the appropriately redacted versions to its website,” the statement concludes.

But some critics met the privacy argument with scepticism. The USDA routinely redacted the names of individuals from the public reports anyway, saysJustin Goodman, director of the non-profit White Coat Waste Project in Washington DC, which opposes animal research. “Claiming ‘privacy’ is a smokescreen to unjustifiably evade critical transparency about government operations.”

 

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4 Responses to “UPDATED: Why Do Climate Deniers Hate Puppies? (and other living things)”

  1. webej Says:

    These people just love transparency and privacy so much …
    Besides, there’s no business like business at the cost of other parties.

  2. Gingerbaker Says:

    Exhibit 23,886,098 of the Madness of King Donald.

  3. rabiddoomsayer Says:

    They worship the almighty dollar, everything must be sacrificed to their god.

  4. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    To climate deniers and Republicans, life is just a method of keeping meat fresh. 😐


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