The agency also said it would "review and redact, as necessary, the lists of licensees and registrants under the AWA, as well as lists of designated qualified persons licensed by USDA-certified horse industry organizations."
Records will now only be available through Freedom of Information Act requests, "which can take years to be approved," Karin Brulliard writes for The Washington Post. USDA "cited court rulings and privacy laws for the decision, which it said was the result of a 'comprehensive review' that took place over the past year." A USDA statement said: “We remain equally committed to being transparent and responsive to our stakeholders’ informational needs, and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals with whom we come in contact."
USDA officials refused to say if the removal was temporary of permanent and it was unclear if the change was a direct result of newly hired Trump administration officials, Brulliard writes.