UW–Madison statement on USDA online records access

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is committed to ethical and humane animal research as scientific knowledge and discoveries improve the health and well-being of human and nonhuman animals. Federal regulation and the oversight of agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institutes of Health are crucial to the careful conduct of that research.

USDA has removed inspection and enforcement documents previously publicly available on the agency’s website. UW–Madison recognizes the privacy concerns that spurred the changes, and that freely available information can be used to mischaracterize animal research and the people who conduct that research.

However, the university also sees transparency as an important aspect of the public trust that makes this vital research possible. UW–Madison remains committed to openness in animal research, to providing the public with information about animal care and the research process on our campus. At this time, we will continue to make reports from USDA inspections of UW–Madison animals and facilities available on our own website.