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USDA Unveils New Licensing and Registration Assistant

Washington, D.C., April 29, 2019 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is debuting an online self-service tool called the Licensing and Registration Assistant to help individuals and businesses identify their licensing and registration needs under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).   

This tool is designed to help all regulated businesses including breeders, dealers, exhibitors, transporters, and research facilities, by taking the guesswork out of which type of license or registration they need.  Whether someone is starting a new business, or just wants to check to see if they are in compliance, this tool is ready to assist, and using it will take just 5 to 15 minutes.  

With this easy self-service tool, determining whether a license or registration is needed is as simple as following these four steps:


  1. Answer a few anonymous questions
  2. Discover your licensing needs
  3. Act on the results

The tool does not require users to log in or sign up to access it, and all answers provided are completely anonymous.  After answering the questions, the tool will recommend the specific licensing and/or registration types required and will provide links to download those applications.

Regulations established under the AWA set standards for the humane care and treatment for certain animals that are exhibited to the public, sold for use as pets, used in research, or transported commercially.  Each year, USDA issues licenses to nearly 6,000 people, and is responsible for ensuring that these regulated facilities are complying with the AWA’s humane standards of care.


USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

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