Skip to main content

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Thank you for visiting APHIS’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) home page. The central purpose of the FOIA is to ensure a nation of informed citizens, which is vital to the functioning of a democratic society. Enacted by Congress in 1966, the FOIA provides that any person has a right to obtain access to federal agency records, except to the extent such records (or portions of them) are protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions.

The purpose of this page is to help you quickly and easily locate APHIS records that are of interest to the public, find information on how to submit a FOIA request, and check on the status of a FOIA request that you already submitted to APHIS.

FOIA Reading Room

APHIS’ electronic FOIA Reading Room contains records routinely available to the public under FOIA, including frequently processed records, FOIA guidance and resources, APHIS policies and publications, and more.

Please be aware that APHIS maintains an electronic reading room only. If you should need assistance using the reading room, please contact the FOIA Office.

How to Submit a FOIA Request

Submitting a FOIA request has never been easier! If you are unable to locate an agency record of interest in our FOIA Reading Room, you can now submit a FOIA request online through USDA’s Public Access Link (PAL), or through mail or fax.

For tips and information on how to submit a FOIA request, please visit our How to Submit a FOIA and Privacy Act Request webpage, which walks you through the process step-by-step. Please note that all FOIA requests must be in writing and certain fees may apply.

How to Check on the Status of a FOIA Request

The best way to check on the status of a FOIA request is to register with the USDA’s Public Access Link (PAL). Once you are registered, you can Sign In to view the status of your request(s) at any time, send a message to the FOIA Office, and even download responsive records once they are delivered.

If you are not a registered requester, you can still check the status of your request through PAL. Please be sure to have the tracking number that the FOIA Office provided to you, as you will need it to retrieve the status of your request.

If you prefer to contact the FOIA Office to check status of your request, please contact the FOIA Office.

FOIA Office Contact Information

Tonya Woods, FOIA Director
Legislative and Public Affairs
Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts Office
4700 River Road, Unit 50
Riverdale, MD 20737

Phone: 301-851-4102
Fax: 301-734 -5941

FOIA Public Liaison Contact Information

The FOIA Public Liaison is responsible for assisting in reducing delays, increasing transparency and understanding of the status of requests, and assisting in the resolution of disputes.

You may contact the APHIS FOIA Public Liaison at:

Abbey L. Fretz
APHIS FOIA Public Liaison
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
4700 River Road, Mail Stop 50
Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 851-4056​

Complementary Content