Missing records at GA Dept. of Ag. Animal Protection

Earlier I asked: “So if the investigation takes more than 2 years, do the earlier files about it start to vanish?” It appears that there’s no need to wait 2 years for records to vanish from the Ga. Department of Agriculture Animal Protection.

Blogger Rattlin’ Georgia’s Cages wrote at some unknown date about State Audits:

The author of this website is NOT an attorney, nor is attempting to provide legal advice to ANY person or organizational entity. The author of this website does not, nor does this website, represent, nor is affiliated with, the Ga. Department of Agriculture Animal Protection Division. The author of this website is a previous employee of the Ga. Department of Agriculture, employed as an Animal Protection Inspector, from Dec 2003 until July 29, 2004.

The Ga. Department of Agriculture Animal Protection
Office was audited in 2000.
This office was also reviewed, by the State Audit Office, in 2003,
for a follow up – to determine if this office was adhering
to the state auditor’s recommendations.
* My comments are in red text.
I’ve included here a couple of examples from that audit, with that blogger’s comments in red. -jsq
The Department has the authority to suspend or revoke a facility’s license. If a facility is found to be operating without a license, the Program notifies the facility of the licensure requirement, provides a copy of the standards that must be met to obtain a license, and schedules a pre-license inspection.

* Unlicensed breeders found to be operating unlicensed were not, during my employment, monetarily fined for violations. Under the authority of the Ga. Admin Procedures Act, Ag AP could, but rarely did, fine a person.

(2) 96% of the facilities cited for not providing humane care will be reinspected and brought into compliance or will be subjected to license revocation and/or a settlement conference.

Complete data was not available, however, for determining the Program’s effectiveness in meeting these objectives.

The Budget Report for fiscal year 2001, for example, indicates that 96% (241) of 250 facilities cited for noncompliance in fiscal year 1999 were brought into compliance or subject to disciplinary action.

The Department has indicated that support for these numbers had been generated by hand and was no longer available.

There’s a lot more in that audit, but this is enough to see that inspection records are not kept very well by GA Dept. Ag. Given a combination of a state inspection office that isn’t very good about keeping records and won’t reveal them anyway until an investigation is complete at some unspecified time in the future, plus a local county government that threatens legal action against a citizens group trying to investigate, people might start wondering if there’s something going on that somebody is trying to cover up.