About Animal Care

Last Modified: February 17, 2024

APHIS' Animal Care program enforces two important laws: the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act. Our specialized team includes veterinary medical officers, animal care inspectors, and other experts in the field of animal welfare.

Together, we work from field locations across the country to:

Animal Care At-a-Glance

Here's a snapshot of our accomplishments in 2022.

  • Oversaw 13,376 licensees and registrants, including nearly 2,500 new registrants, ensuring the humane care and treatment of animals covered under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)
  • Conducted 10,595 AWA site inspections—including 1,248 unannounced inspections at research facilities—to assess the health, care, and treatment of more than 1.4 million animals and found 96 percent of licensees and registrants in substantial compliance with the AWA
  • Worked with State and local partners to confiscate or facilitate the surrender of more than 140 animals to relieve their suffering and provide them with humane care
  • Issued 3,167 import permits covering 15,412 dogs for resale in the United States, ensuring they are healthy, vaccinated, and over 6 months of age
  • Continued supporting the Zoological All Hazards Partnership—which reached 600 animal facilities, professional and industry groups, private owners, veterinarians, and others in the exotic animal community in fiscal year 2022—covering topics such as hurricanes, wildfires, SARS-CoV-2, highly pathogenic avian influenza in zoos, and biosecurity and resilience for zoos and aquariums
  • Attended 41 horse events, inspected 1,300 horses, and identified 323 instances of the Horse Protection Act noncompliance
    • In collaboration with industry, representatives sampled 1,578 horses for prohibited substance testing and found that nearly half the samples tested were positive for prohibited numbing agents

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Need help from Animal Care?

Visit Our Animal Welfare Contacts Directory