Specifically, exhibitors with eight (8) or fewer pet animals, small exotic or wild mammals, and domesticated farm-type animals are exempt from AWA licensing. In addition, APHIS expanded the list of animals eligible for an existing exemption for dealers who maintain four (4) or fewer breeding females and sells only the offspring of those animals born and raised on his or her premises, for pets or exhibition. This exemption now applies to dealers of pet animals, small exotic and wild mammals, and domesticated farm-type animals.
Individuals and businesses already exempt under current licensing exemptions will not be affected by these new exemptions. Individuals and businesses with animals considered to be dangerous, including elephants and big cats, will not be eligible for the new exemptions.
Passed by Congress in 1966, the AWA seeks to ensure the humane treatment of certain animals that are sold for use as pets, exhibited to the public, used in research, or transported commercially. The AWA does not apply to coldblooded animals, or to farm animals used in traditional agricultural practices. Individuals and businesses licensed under the AWA must provide their animals with adequate housing, sanitation, nutrition, water, and veterinary care. They also must protect their animals from extreme weather and temperatures.
This final rule is on display in today’s Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/04/2018-11892/thresholds-for-de-minimis-activity-and-exemptions-from-licensing-under-the-animal-welfare-act.
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 www.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.