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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

FOIA Reading Room


Welcome to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Reading Room.

The FOIA Electronic Reading Room contains documents specifically identified for inclusion by the FOIA, as well as documents for which we have received multiple FOIA requests.

The documents that are required to be made available by the FOIA are:

  • final opinions made in the adjudication of cases;
  • statements of policy and interpretations adopted by the agency;
  • staff manuals and instructions that affect the public;
  • records that have been released in response to multiple written requests for information under the FOIA or are likely to be requested again.

APHIS only maintains an electronic reading room.  If you should need assistance using the APHIS Electronic Reading Room, you may contact the FOIA Office at 301-734-8296.

FOIA Guidance and Resources


APHIS Policy Manuals, Opinions, Reports and Directives


Documents Released by FOIA Requests and Proactive Postings


This category consists of any records that have been processed and disclosed in response to a FOIA request that APHIS determines have become--or are likely to become--the subject of multiple requests for substantially the same records.

In addition to the 2010 releases that are currently available in the eFOIA Reading Room, the 2011 first quarter releases have been posted as well.

Congressional Reports and Testimony


Animal Health


Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health (SACAH)
The SACAH focuses on safeguarding animal health and broader issues of public concern. This Committee engages the public in dialogue on topics such as livestock disease management, traceability strategies, and prioritizing animal health issues. The Committee held meetings on January 20-21, March 4, and May 13, 2011. Links to the transcripts and meeting minutes are available below.

Animal Disease Traceability
On February 5, 2010, USDA announced a new, flexible framework for animal disease traceability in the United States. The framework provides the basic tenets of an improved animal disease traceability capability.  USDA is committed to working in partnership with States, Tribal Nations, and industry to develop an effective, yet practical, animal disease traceability solutions. More information regarding traceability can be found at the links below.

USDA Revises Guidelines for Use of National Uniform Eartagging System Numbers

  • NUES tags, more commonly referred to as "brite" tags or "silver metal" tags, were previously only available to producers through an accredited veterinarian as part of specific disease control programs. Under the revised guidelines, producers can obtain these tags directly through their state animal health officials. The guidelines also establish standards for the use of NUES tags as official identification outside of disease programs, with state animal health officials designated to administer and oversee that process.

FMD Preparedness
USDA's foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) preparedness is in close partnership with industry to combat foreign animal diseases.  The links below will aid in understanding how the Federal government and industry work together in an emergency, the timing of public announcements, and the complexities of dealing with a foreign animal disease outbreak.

Avian Influenza (AI)
The highly pathogenic avian influenza AI (H5N1) epizootic (animal outbreak) in Asia, Europe, the Near East, and Africa is not expected to diminish significantly in the short term. It is likely that H5N1 virus infections among domestic poultry have become endemic in certain areas and that sporadic human infections resulting from direct contact with infected poultry and/or wild birds will continue to occur. Links to recent and existing AI topics are available below.

Horse Protection Program and the Slaughter Horse Transport Program
Links below will reveal results of VS APHIS’s September 2010 audit of the Horse Protection Program and the Slaughter Horse Transport Program.  Also available are current downloadable forms used in the Slaughter Horse Transport Program.

Center for Veterinary Biologics
VS' mission of protecting American agriculture consist of developing, distributing, and using worldwide standardprotocols for biologics evaluation and training scientists throughout the world on these protocols.  Click on the links below and see how this is accomplished.

Animal Welfare




Biotechnology Regulatory Services (permits, notifications, and petitions)

BRS NEPA Pilot Project
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Pilot Project is a voluntary project to assess new approaches for developing the documents and environmental analyses used to inform APHIS/BRS decisions associated with the regulation of genetically engineered organisms.

BRS News and Information
Link to news, information and documents related to the regulation of genetically engineered organisms.

Environmental Documents and Regulations


Finance, Agreements & User Fees 


Plant Health


Wildlife Damage


National Wildlife Research Center 2010 Accomplishments Reports
The National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) is the research arm of the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services program. The 2010 NWRC Accomplishments Report highlights ongoing and recently completed research activities related to wildlife damage management. Areas of focus include agriculture and resource protection, wildlife disease, invasive species, aviation safety, technology development, and economics.  http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/nwrc/

National Wildlife Research Center-Predator Damage Management Factsheet-Document attached
Understanding predator ecology and behavior, as well as the development of new predator management tools to reduce livestock losses and protect public safety is a high priority for the Wildlife Service (WS) program.  This FY2010 factsheet highlights research efforts at the WS National Wildlife Research Center related to predation damage management.

Wildlife Service’s Publications
Short fact sheets, stakeholder announcements and brochures regarding a variety of wildlife management techniques can be viewed at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/

Published every two years, the Managing Wildlife Informational Notebook provides an overview of current research activities, of operational activities in each state and of work related to specific resources protected by WS damage management activities. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/

Wildlife Strikes to Civil Aircraft in the United States
This report, produced annually by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, provides a comprehensive summary of wildlife strikes reported within the FAA National Wildlife Strike Database.

FAA National Wildlife Strike Database
This database contains records and information related to wildlife-aircraft collisions voluntarily reported to the Federal Aviation Administration from the aviation industry.  The database is managed by USDA APHIS Wildlife Services.  The information contained within the database is summarized in an annual public report.  The database is web accessible by the public. http://wildlife-mitigation.tc.faa.gov/wildlife/default.aspx

Protecting the Flying Public and Minimizing Economic Losses Within the Aviation Industry
This report provides an annual summary of USDA APHIS Wildlife Services operations and research activities provided to the civil aviation industry and U.S. Department of Defense.

Airport Wildlife Hazards Program
This website contains information regarding the distribution of USDA APHIS Wildlife Services airport wildlife hazard management activities at civil airports and U.S. Department of Defense installations.  In addition, downloadable technical information is located here.

APHIS Programs and Offices


APHIS is divided into a collection of 6 operational programs units, 3 management support units, and 2 offices supporting federal government-wide initiatives.


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Last Modified: July 15, 2013