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Risk Based Inspection System

Animal Care (AC)  uses a risk-based inspection system to support its focused inspection strategy, allowing more frequent and in-depth inspections at problem facilities and fewer at those that are consistently in compliance.  The system, initiated in 1998, uses several objective criteria, including past compliance history, to determine the inspection frequency at each licensed and registered facility.  Facilities meeting the criteria for low-frequency intervals are subject to inspection once every 2–3 years.  Facilities determined to require high-frequency inspections are subject to inspection as often as every 3 months.  Those in the middle are inspected about once per year.  Registered research facilities are inspected at least once per year, as required by the AWA.  With this system, AC has been able to provide more in-depth inspections and improve the Agency’s interactions with licensees and registrants—an approach that APHIS firmly believes makes better use of AC’s inspection resources.

After the Inspection: If inspectors discover conditions or records that are not in compliance with the regulations, AC typically establishes a deadline for correcting these items and provides it in the inspection report.  In conjunction with APHIS’ Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES), AC immediately investigates any situations that may have caused unnecessary animal suffering or death.  Inspectors are required to reinspect within 45 days any facilities where areas of noncompliance were found that have, or are likely to have, a serious impact on the well-being of the animals.  If the conditions remain uncorrected, AC documents them for possible legal action.  In cases of unrelieved suffering, AC may confiscate the animals or arrange for their placement elsewhere. With the assistance of IES and OGC, AC acted in two such situations in FY 2008, resulting in the placement of 67 animals (64 hamsters, 2 exotic mice, and 1 tiger). AC also assisted Missouri and Oklahoma State officials in 12 separate situations, in which several dogs were surrendered to local and regional shelters and local humane societies. In FY 2009, during 3 separate situations, AC confiscated 1 elephant and 6 large exotic cats (2 tigers and 4 lions). During a separate incident, AC facilitated the surrender of 2 elephants.

With the assistance of IES, AC acted in four such situations in FY 2008, resulting in the confiscation/surrender and placement of approximately 24 animals. In FY 2009, AC acted in five such situations, resulting in the confiscation/surrender and placement of 37 animals.



FY 2010 AWA Inspections

Certificate Type Total
Regulated
Facilities
Compliance
Inspections
Pre-License/
Pre-Registration
Inspections
Attempted
BREEDER 3296 3516 544 722
CARRIER 284 783 0 21
DEALER 939 1215 208 164
EXHIBITOR 2764 3693 535 463
FEDERAL RESEARCH FACILITY 53 2 0 0
INTERMEDIATE HANDLER 260 188 2 15
REGISTERED EXHIBITOR 9 10 0 1
RESEARCH FACILITY 1104 1683 2 40
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL 73 2 0 0
Not Licenced N/A 89 102 3
All Facilities 8782 11181 1393 1429



Total Number of Inspections Performed FY 2005-2010

Fiscal Year (FY)
Number of Inspections
2010
14,003
2009
13,877
2008
15,372
2007
18,343
2006
20,311
2005
18,290





 



Additional Information