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Lobart Ikle, Laguna Beach

As Donald Trump was signing edicts hurting one group after another over the past two weeks, it was only a matter of time before the new president got around to hurting animals—already the most oppressed sentient beings on earth.

The animals’ turn came Feb. 3 by taking down the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) site that reports on government regulation of roughly 9,000 animal handling facilities. These are laboratories, dog breeders, fur farms, circuses, zoos and aquariums.

The site is used every day by animal protection activists to monitor government enforcement of the 1966 Animal Welfare Act, the only effective federal law protecting animals.

Taking down the APHIS inspection site is a huge setback for animal protection. It will almost certainly lead to reduced government inspection of animal facilities and more animal suffering—a virtual repeal of the Animal Welfare Act.

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