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Types of AWA or HPA Enforcement Actions


The Official Warning Letter (7060) is a notification to an individual or company regarding an alleged AWA violation. The letter warns that any further infractions may result in more serious consequences such as a civil penalty or criminal prosecution.

A Stipulation is an agreement in which the Agency gives notice of an apparent violation and agrees to accept a specified penalty to settle the matter. The penalty must be paid within a designated time frame and the violator waives their right to a hearing.

Copies of Official Warning Letters and Stipulations are available only through a FOIA request. To make a FOIA request for such documents, please phone (301) 734-8296, or go to: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/footer_items/foia.shtml and provide your contact information and the item(s) requested.

An Office of General Counsel (OGC) Complaint gives notice to an Animal Care licensee or registrant of formal allegations regarding possible violations of the AWA or the HPA. The Complaint does not mean the respondent is guilty of these violations, but serves as a notice that they must respond and either agree to the allegations in the Complaint, or seek a hearing date before a USDA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). A copy of a Complaint is available on the USDA ALJ Web site.

A Decision and Order is issued by the ALJ based on the evidence presented by APHIS and the respondent. The respondent has the right to appeal this decision. A copy of a Decision and Order is available on the USDA ALJ web site.

For OGC or USDA ALJ documents, go to: http://www.usda.gov/da/oaljdecisions/ and select the Current ALJ Decisions pull down menu, and then select the appropriate enforcement action. The USDA ALJ Web site also includes an Agriculture Decisions Search Engine to assist search requests when the type of enforcement action sought is unknown.




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Last Modified: November 10, 2009


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