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Taking on puppy mills

Just weeks ago, Sonny Perdue was approved as Secretary of Agriculture overseeing the USDA, where he runs everything from SNAP food assistance programs to laws on puppy mills and animal welfare.

One of the reasons I voted no on Secretary Perdue's nomination was because he would not commit to me to transparency regarding animal welfare reports on the USDA’s website.

As a veterinarian who enhanced penalties for dog fighting as Governor of Georgia, I hoped that Perdue would reverse the USDA's recent actions to hide reports on puppy mills and animal cruelty.

But with so many secrets mounting in the Trump administration and his failure to commit to me to full transparency, I’m not counting on it. Perdue has already publicly stated that he plans to cut the USDA by $4.7 billion—more than 20 percent—which will have a drastic impact on food assistance, rural farms, and animal welfare.

That’s why my bill to ensure the public will always have easy access to the USDA website’s information on puppy mills and animal cruelty is still critical to protecting animal welfare.

From Trump’s taxes to his associates’ connections with Russia to data on puppy mills and other critical taxpayer-funded animal welfare records, Trump wants to pull a blindfold over the American people's eyes.

My bill demands full transparency from Trump’s USDA. From zoos to horse farms to illegal breeding operations, the health and safety standards data from the USDA belongs in the hands of the American people, not at the whim of a president intent on keeping secrets.

Trump will continue to try and keep information from the American people. And I promise to keep exposing his deceit.

Posted on May 15, 2017.

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Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley and Elizabeth WarrenRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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