USDA Extends Comment Period for Public Input on Updates to Animal Welfare Act Licensing Requirements

If you have thoughts about these potential changes, the comment period has been extended to November 1. We know that Joe Overlease, representing USDA-licensed breeders, has been encouraging them to send as many comments as possible, even one per day. The Cavalry Group and AKC have also encouraged people to send comments.

As expected, HSUS and animal rights people have been sending lots of comments urging stricter licensing requirements.

After you make your comment it won’t be posted immediately but if it doesn’t show up in a reasonable time, put your name in the search window for the proposed rule and make sure it’s there somewhere.

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USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent this bulletin at 10/20/2017 09:55 AM EDT

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing the extension of the comment period for potential updates to the Animal Welfare Act licensing requirements.  The comment period will now be open until November 2.

USDA initially asked for the public’s help in determining potential updates in an announcement on August 23, 2017, and to date, over 35,000 comments have been submitted.

Each year, USDA issues new licenses and renews existing licenses for people who breed, sell, or exhibit animals for commercial purposes.  The department is responsible for ensuring that these licensees comply with the AWA’s humane standards of care, which enables the American public to confidently purchase pets and view animals on public display.

The full list of potential changes is available at: APHIS will review and consider all comments received before determining next steps.

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