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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced the rollout of the updated public search tool that provides access to Animal Welfare Act compliance records.

The USDA defines the public search tool as a component of the Animal Care Information System (ACIS) that “will allow APHIS to make animal welfare information publicly available and promote compliance with all applicable laws.”

The new tool replaces a previous tool which was removed from the APHIS website in early February due to legal and privacy concerns.

An announcement provided by USDA on August 17 explains that the APHIS is offering the ACIS search tool to the public to “provide information on APHIS’ performance of its statutory duties under the Animal Welfare Act, in accordance with privacy laws.”

The new tool will provide access to inspection reports involving non-residential businesses and will feature redactions where appropriate to protect the privacy interests of individuals. As before, the public may also request additional Animal Welfare Act records from APHIS through the Freedom of Information Act.

For more information and a User guide for the ACIS search tool, click here.