polar bear at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.

Time to hurt animals | Letter

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

The animals’ turn came recently — 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 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.

Ironically, this oppressive act was launched by the same dark-of-night process as that of pulling more than 100,000 visas from thoroughly vetted Muslim immigrants one week earlier — no notice, no hearings, no due process, no public announcement.

The oppressive mindset doesn’t really care who the victims are. Hopefully, the courts will.

Ben Chambers

Bellevue

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