Investigative and Enforcement Services
When IES investigators uncover apparent violations, they prepare case reports. If a case warrants prosecution, APHIS takes legal action, usually through an administrative law process. Many cases are closed with an official warning, but sometimes IES issues stipulations which may include a civil fine or other penalty. The more serious cases or those involving repeat violations are submitted to an administrative law judge who can suspend or revoke the violator's USDA license and impose a fine. If a violation is serious enough, IES will work with the Department of Justice to build a criminal case.
IES investigates violations of:
IES has evolved into an efficiently operated investigations and enforcement program within APHIS. The investigators ensure that all cases are documented and tracked appropriately to assist processing at the agency and Department. To achieve a high degree of compliance with APHIS regulations in the field, this professional investigative staff operates from 2 regional offices, one located in Fort Collins, CO, and the other in Raleigh, NC. Finally, the Headquarters Staff located in Riverdale, MD processes the proposed enforcement actions, and offers a readily accessible reference to assist with interpreting laws, regulations, or program policy. IES' primary clients in APHIS are the Animal Care, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Veterinary Services, and the Biotechnology Regulatory Services programs.
Though IES investigators gather information and evidence about all alleged violations of agricultural health and animal welfare regulations, the demand for IES services has grown beyond that of merely producing an investigative or "case" report. For example IES' Intelligence Analysis Unit gathers "intelligence" on animal and plant movements and relevant industry trends, thus allowing agency regulatory officials to more effectively protect American agriculture.
IES maintains all information about violations of agricultural health and animal welfare laws in a centralized system at the APHIS headquarters in Riverdale, MD. Enforcement specialists in IES can access information about cases and provide program officials with legal insight into APHIS regulations. The enforcement staff can also create historical and general legal reports for field research and other APHIS programs.
Last Modified: June 10, 2013