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Animal Welfare

Retail Pet Store Rule

USDA has changed the Animal Welfare Act regulations by revising its definition of retail pet store in order to keep pace with the modern marketplace and to ensure that animals sold via the Internet or other non-traditional methods receive humane care and treatment. USDA Animal Care has posted several materials on this webpage in an effort to provide all interested parties with pertinent information. We encourage you to please read through these materials in order to: 1) gain a better understanding of this regulation change; 2) learn the reasons that prompted the change; and 3) see if you need a USDA license or if you are exempt from licensing.

At USDA Animal Care, ensuring the welfare of the animals we regulate is at the heart of everything we do.


USDA Animal Care will host a series of Retail Pet Store Rule webinars in November and December. We are inviting you to participate in any or all of these webinars to talk directly with us about how this rule may or may not affect your business.

Webinars will be held Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST for a four-week period. The schedule of topics for the webinars is as follows:

Registration for each subsequent webinar will open following the end of the previous week’s webinar. At the proper time, please visit the Animal Care web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/retail_pet_stores.shtml if you wish to register for a subsequent webinars.

We look forward to speaking with you during the webinars.


At USDA Animal Care, ensuring the welfare of the animals we regulate is at the heart of everything we do.



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