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USDA Seeks Public Comment on Proposal to Establish Animal Welfare Regulations for Birds


photo of macaws
Contacts:
Andre Bell
Richard.A.Bell@usda.gov
Lyndsay Cole
Lyndsay.M.Cole@usda.gov

WASHINGTON, February 18, 2022 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting public comments on a proposal to amend the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations to establish new regulations and standards governing the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of birds. The proposed regulations would apply to captive birds not bred for use in research.

The proposal would ensure each individual bird that is subject to the AWA is raised and maintained in conditions that ensure its good health and well-being and that its physical and behavioral needs are met. The proposed rule outlines how entities with birds can obtain a license and the standards they would have to follow.

APHIS is asking the public to provide comments on how this proposed rule would impact the regulated community, as well as ways that APHIS might assist regulated entities with implementation of these standards, whether through documents, guides, training, or other means. APHIS also invites comments on the proposed operating standards for facilities, the proposed animal health and husbandry standards, and the proposed transportation standards.

These proposed standards would allow APHIS to ensure the welfare of birds while affording flexibility in implementing the standards to bird breeders, dealers, exhibitors, and transporters.

In addition to the proposed rule, APHIS has completed an Environmental Assessment and a Regulatory Impact Analysis for these regulations and is sharing both documents for review and comment.

APHIS is committed to ensuring the welfare of regulated animals and continues to carry out the critical day-to-day work of ensuring the humane treatment of vulnerable animals through unannounced inspections, pre-compliance visits, horse protection inspections, and other activities.

This proposed rule may be viewed in today’s Federal Register. Beginning Tuesday, February 22, members of the public may submit comments. All comments must be received by April 25, 2022.


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