For more than 40 years, Congress has entrusted APHIS with the stewardship of animals covered under the Animal Welfare and Horse Protection Acts. APHIS continues to uphold that trust, giving protection to millions of animals each year, nationwide.
APHIS provides leadership for determining standards of humane care and treatment of animals. APHIS implements those standards and achieves compliance through inspection, education, cooperative efforts, and enforcement.
02/20/2013 USDA Announces Recent Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act Enforcement Actions
Find helpful contact information for APHIS’ Animal Care program.
Under the AWA, APHIS issues licenses and registrations to certain animal businesses and research facilities and performs inspections to ensure proper animal care and treatment. The AWA’s regulations as well as other policy documents issued by the AC staff clarify how USDA determines whether a licensed or registered entity is providing its animals with proper care and treatment.
The HPA is a Federal law that prohibits horses subjected to a practice called soring from participating in shows, sales, exhibitions, or auctions. Soring is a cruel and abusive practice used to accentuate a horse’s gait. APHIS works actively with the horse industry to protect against such abuse and ensure that only sound and healthy horses participate in shows. Our ultimate goal is to end this inhumane practice completely.
APHIS is an emergency response Agency. Animal Care assists states in their efforts to include pets as part of their emergency plans. This responsibility was assigned to APHIS through the Department of Homeland Security’s National Response Framework (NRF), a document that describes the Federal Government’s coordination with the State, local and Tribal partners, States and non-governmental organizations on emergency planning.
To foster a better understanding of the AWA, HPA, and AC’s role in household pet evacuation and sheltering during an emergency, a number of publications and reports are available.
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