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Animal Welfare Act Standards for Birds Virtual Public Meeting Information

Register for the Virtual Listening Sessions | Listening Session Questions
Instructions for Providing Verbal Comments | Instructions for Submitting Written Comments


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is hosting three virtual listening sessions to receive public input on key topics related to the development of regulations covering the welfare of birds not bred for use in research.

Register for the Virtual Listening Sessions

All three listening sessions will be identical in format and last up to 3 hours. Anyone who is interested in participating must register in advance.  You will be asked to provide your name, title and organization and indicate whether you would like to make verbal comments if time allows.  Once you submit your registration information, you will receive an email confirming your participation.  Additional details will follow in advance of the webinar.

Listening Session Questions

In order to develop regulations for birds that support both stakeholder needs and animal welfare, we are seeking input on the following questions during each of the listening sessions:

  1. Are there appropriate performance-based standards we could establish across a wide variety of species of birds?  Can we use classes of birds to set performance-based standards appropriate for the class?  If so, what might these classes look like?

  2. How do bird breeders avoid interfering with nesting and breeding or other biological activities of birds?   How can we ensure that housing, feeding, or inspection requirements do not interfere with these activities?

  3. Should we revise or add exemptions for certain dealers, exhibitors, operators of auction sales, and carriers and intermediate handlers of birds not bred for use in research?  If so, what should those exemptions be?  Please provide supporting data if possible.

  4. Are there thresholds beyond which an entity should not be required to be licensed?  For example, we are aware that there are many entities who breed small numbers of birds; if we should exempt those entities, what exemption criteria should we use?

  5. Are there certain species which should be exempt?

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Instructions for Providing Verbal Comments

APHIS is hosting three virtual listening sessions with the goal of hearing from as many interested stakeholders as possible. Each session will last up to three hours and will be recorded.

Participants must register in advance. When you register, you must indicate that you would like to provide verbal comments if time allows. 

Each speaker will be limited to 4 minutes to allow for a broad group of commenters in each session.  Speakers will hear a chime when they have 30 seconds remaining. After four minutes, we will close the line and move to the next speaker. 

To ensure fairness, we ask that no more than two representatives from a single organization register to speak at any webinar.  Participants may sign up to speak more than once, but we will prioritize hearing from speakers who have not yet had the opportunity to provide verbal comments.

The webinar moderator will call upon those participants who have indicated they would like to provide verbal comments. We appreciate everyone having their comments organized and ready so that when you hear your name you are ready to begin speaking.

Please note that indicating you would like to make verbal comments does not guarantee you will have the opportunity to do so.  We encourage any participants who don’t have the opportunity to provide verbal comments to submit written comments.  All comments, whether verbal or written, will be given the same consideration.

Transcripts of each listening session will be posted on this site after all three sessions have concluded.

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Instructions for Submitting Written Comments

APHIS will accept written comments from September 29, 2020 through October 23, 2020. 

All written comments will be visible to the public.

APHIS will provide a link to submit comments beginning on September 29, 2020.

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