USDA APHIS – AKC submitted comments to the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) regarding a draft five-year strategic plan for the agency. Comments will assist APHIS in finalizing the plan, of which a final version is expected in the fall. AKC’s comment highlights three main needs: (1) increased appropriations to help ensure strong enforcement, (2) greater collaboration between APHIS and other government agencies to address the public health issues presented by the importation of unhealthy dogs, and (3) a clear definition of “breeding female” in Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations. Click here for more information and to view AKC’s comment to USDA APHIS.
USDA APHIS – Effective August 1, 2022, USDA APHIS discontinued the use of “teachable moments” as part of its enforcement of the AWA. Since 2016, USDA APHIS documented teachable moments for minor, isolated noncompliances discovered during facility inspections that did not have an impact on the welfare or care of animals. Teachable moments were not used to address noncompliances that directly impacted animal welfare or care, or when dealing with licensees that had multiple noncompliances. AKC believes that teachable moments provided an opportunity for breeders and other regulated entities to receive APHIS guidance to improve their operations, which benefitted the overall care of animals. However, due to a congressional directive, all noncompliances, including minor issues not impacting animal welfare or care, will be cited on inspection reports. Click here for more information.