USDA Settles Lawsuit and Agrees to Publicly Disclose Slaughter Records

The U.S. Department of Agriculture settled a lawsuit brought by the Animal Welfare Institute and Farm Sanctuary to ensure consistent public access to slaughterhouse records and violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Plaintiffs argued in their complaint that the USDA’s failure to publish such records constituted a violation of the Freedom of Information Act’s proactive disclosure requirements. The settlement was approved by a federal magistrate judge and the terms also require the USDA to pay Plaintiffs’ attorneys fees.