Animal Legal Defense Fund Proposes Clarifications to Strengthen Federal Animal Welfare Act
Submitted a petition for rulemaking
The Animal Legal Defense Fund submitted a petition for rulemaking to the USDA proposing two amendments to the federal Animal Welfare Act.
In 2016, the Animal Legal Defense Fund submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposing two amendments to the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the primary law providing protections to captive wildlife.
The first proposed amendment would have tightened requirements for species-specific training for attending veterinarians at exhibition facilities. While the current rule does state that vets need to have received some training, exhibitors have continued to use vets with, for example, sole experience treating cats and dogs, to diagnose and treat primates, exotics, and endangered species.
We proposed requiring at least six months of full-time training or experience with the species being attended. This would ensure animals receive the care they need from qualified veterinarians.
The second proposed rule would have provided a procedure for the USDA to confiscate animals from substandard facilities as part of the process of revoking an AWA license — which animal exhibitors, breeders, and dealers for protected animals must have.
Currently, the USDA has authority to confiscate individual animals who are suffering, but the regulations do not integrate removal of all animals suffering in a substandard facility with enforcement action or license revocation proceedings. The lack of such a procedure leaves many animals suffering for far longer than they should.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund continues to advocate for animals held captive at roadside zoos, pushing for stronger laws and better enforcement of those laws.
Lawsuit alleges the government has unlawfully weakened protections for threatened and endangered speciesOctober 22, 2019 Press Release
In early 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purged tens of thousands of important documents related to animal welfare from the agency’s website. The purged inspection reports documented violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).September 18, 2019 News
Endangered animals including lions, tigers, and gray wolves suffer in squalid conditions at Special Memories Zoo.September 10, 2019 Press Release
Animal Legal Defense Fund submitted comments
Submitted comments to the USDA
Filed Comments in Opposition to Captive Chimpanzee testing