USDA Reminds the Public About Animal Welfare Act Regulations for Birds

blue and gold macaws

Stakeholder Announcement


WASHINGTON, February 15, 2024 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reminding the public of the final rule establishing new regulations and standards governing the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of birds covered by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The final rule applies to captive birds not bred for use in research.

For new AWA licensees and registrants, this rule will go into effect on February 21, 2024. For current AWA licensees and registrants, this rule went into effect on August 21, 2023. The final rule will help ensure all birds subject to the AWA are raised and cared for in conditions that ensure their good health and well-being, and that their physical and behavioral needs are met. This final rule may be viewed in the Federal Register.

More information regarding birds covered under the AWA, including frequently asked questions and informational videos, can be found on the USDA APHIS website: USDA APHIS | AWA Standards for Birds

To learn more about licensing or registration under the AWA or to apply for a license or registration, please visit the USDA APHIS website: SDA APHIS | Apply for a License or Registration

USDA APHIS encourages distribution of this information to individuals, organizations, industry groups, and other stakeholders interested in learning about birds covered under the AWA. APHIS is committed to ensuring the welfare of regulated animals and continues to carry out the critical day-to-day work of enforcing the AWA, including establishing acceptable standards of humane care and treatment for regulated animals and monitoring and achieving compliance through inspections, enforcement, education, and cooperative efforts.

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