USDA No Longer Allowing Puppy Mills or Animal Labs ‘Teachable Moments’
Congress has directed the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to no longer allow its inspectors to use a controversial regulatory practice called “teachable moments.”
Starting in 2016, this practice allowed inspectors to use their discretion to leave “minor” violations of law and instead “educate” the puppy mills, roadside zoos (which should be abolished anyway), research labs or other USDA licensees.
This is good news is for the animals. Critics argued that the “teachable moments” policy was introduced as a way to ignore infractions and reduce citations at regulated facilities. The Animal Legal Defense Fund reported that within two years of the introduction of teachable moments the number of reported violations at USDA regulated facilities plummeted by about 60 percent, and the result was accepting puppy millers and others to repeatedly avoid the law and allow for clear inhumane treatment of animals.