At the Alliance’s urging, Congress orders the USDA to cease its use of the illegal “teachable moments” rule.
The Alliance is elated to report that we have finally succeeded in our tireless efforts to halt the USDA’s use of the “teachable moments” rule. This rule was adopted by the USDA without going through the federal rule-making process, yet the USDA has continued to illegally use this rule to help protect the reputation of substandard dog breeders. When a violation is labeled as a “teachable moment” the inspector does not document such violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act on the dog breeder’s inspection report in an effort to reassure the public that nothing is wrong with this dog breeding facility.
The Alliance sued the USDA over both the “self-reporting” rule and the “teachable moments” rule in 2019. Our lawsuit was successful in stopping the USDA from allowing inhumane breeders to “self-report” violations and thus not have the violations documented on their inspection report. The USDA also consented to re-define its “teachable moments” rule but refused to halt its implementation of the rule and has continued to use “teachable moments” to enable substandard dog breeders to operate with impunity.
In response, the Alliance then turned to Congress and has been extensively lobbying members of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. We have been requesting that Congress take action to force the USDA to cease flaunting federal law by its illegal use of “teachable moments.” We forcibly argued to Congress that it is scandalous that the USDA implemented this rule solely to aid and abet disreputable breeders in circumventing state and local laws that prohibit pet stores in their jurisdiction from acquiring puppies from breeders that have a certain number of violations documented on their inspection report – as “teachable moments” were not cited on the inspection reports.