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.
The Animal Welfare Act does not apply to farm animals. In 9 CFR Part 1, “Animal” is defined as “any live or dead dog, cat, nonhuman primate, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or any other warm-blooded animal, which is being used, or is intended for use for research, teaching, testing, experimentation, or exhibition purposes, or as a pet. This term excludes birds, rats of the genus Rattus, and mice of the genus Mus, bred for use in research; horses not used for research purposes; and other farm animals, such as, but not limited to, livestock or poultry used or intended for use as food or fiber, or livestock or poultry used or intended for use for improving animal nutrition, breeding, management, or production efficiency, or for improving the quality of food or fiber.
Also in 9 CFR Part 1 an exhibitor is defined as “any person (public or private) exhibiting any animals, which were purchased in commerce or the intended distribution of which affects commerce, or will affect commerce, to the public for compensation, as determined by the Secretary. This term includes carnivals, circuses, animal acts, zoos, and educational exhibits, exhibiting such animals whether operated for profit or not. This term excludes retail pet stores, horse and dog races, an owner of a common, domesticated household pet who derives less than a substantial portion of income from a nonprimary source (as determined by the Secretary) for exhibiting an animal that exclusively resides at the residence of the pet owner, organizations sponsoring and all persons participating in State and country fairs, livestock shows, rodeos, field trials, coursing events, purebred dog and cat shows, and any other fairs or exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences, as may be determined by the Secretary.
Based on these definitions and the exclusions included within them, birds used as farm animals and those participating in purebred shows or similar fairs and exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences will not be regulated under the Animal Welfare Act.
APHIS is accepting written comments from September 29, 2020 through October 29, 2020 at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=APHIS-2020-0068-0001.
All written comments will be visible to the public. APHIS will give the same consideration to written comments submitted via regulations.gov and verbal comments provided during our public listening sessions.
Animal Care hosted three public listening sessions on September 29th, October 7th and October 15th. We will soon be posting the written transcripts from all three sessions.
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: