Licensing and Registration Information
Information about Regulated Businesses
Commercial Animal Dealers
Individuals or businesses who sell warm-blooded animals for use in research, exhibition, or as pets must be licensed as a dealer. A Class A license is issued to dealers who sell animals that are bred and raised at their facility. A Class B license is issued to dealers who buy and sell warm-blooded animals that were not born and raised on their property. Examples of dealers include commercial dog-breeding facilities, animal brokers, bunchers, and operators of auction sales.
Individuals or businesses with warm-blooded animals that are on display, perform for the public, or are used in educational presentations must be licensed as exhibitors with APHIS. Licensed exhibitors include circuses, zoos, educational displays, animal acts, petting farms/zoos, animal acts, wildlife parks, marine mammal parks, and some sanctuaries. The animals involved in the exhibition may include domestic and exotic animal species.
Research facilities use animals (as defined by the Animal Welfare Act) for research, teaching, testing or experimentation. Examples of research facilities include hospitals, colleges and universities, and pharmaceutical firms. The Animal Welfare Act requires researchers to provide anesthesia or pain-relieving medication to minimize the pain or distress caused by an experiment, unless otherwise scientifically justified. The Animal Welfare Act does not allow Animal Care to prevent the use of animals in research or experimentation, however.
A person with a commercial business that moves animals from one location to another is considered a transporter under the Animal Welfare Act and must be registered with the USDA. Examples of transporters include airlines and trucking companies.