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NABR Special Alert: Proposed APHIS Rule Making

Proposed APHIS Rulemaking Would Eliminate Automatic Licensing Renewals and Update Certain Canine Regulations

On March 21, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a stakeholder announcement concerning proposed rulemaking to amend the licensing requirements to eliminate automatic renewals.  With this change, licensees would have to demonstrate compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and show that the animals in their possession are adequately cared for in order to obtain a license.

NABR is reviewing the proposed changes and additional information will be forthcoming. The 58-page document proposes many changes to specific sections of the regulations and standards that NABR is taking the time to carefully review and analyze.

The proposed rule also includes additional updates to the regulations for canines – requiring any dealer, exhibitor, or research facility with dogs to maintain a written program for veterinary care and medical records and to make those records available to USDA upon request.  The written program of veterinary care would have to include regular visits by the attending veterinarian to conduct a complete physical examination of each dog not less than once a year, vaccinations for contagious and deadly diseases of dogs, and preventative care and treatment for hair coats, nails, eyes, ears, skin, and teeth.  In addition, the proposed rule would require that dogs have continual access to potable water unless restricted by an attending veterinarian.

The proposed rule may be viewed on display at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/03/22/2019-05422/animal-welfare-amendments-to-licensing-provisions-and-to-requirements-for-dogs.

Beginning on March 22, members of the public may submit comments at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0062 or in writing to Docket No. APHIS-2017-0062, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

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