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Today, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) provided a brief update on its planning to resume routine inspections of licensees and registrants after the COVID-19 public health emergency concludes.  APHIS Animal Care did not provide a particular date for restarting routine inspections, and recapped how guidance issued in March will continue (see below).  However, they emphasized that the health and safety of agency and inspected facility employees and preventing disease transmission would continue to be their primary concerns once routine inspections resume.

Click here to read APHIS’ May 4, 2020, update in full.

For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at


USDA APHIS Updates Inspections Protocols During COVID-19 Pandemic

Mar 27, 2020

Today, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Animal Care Division provided an update on its inspection protocols for the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licensees.

APHIS Animal Care is continuing to conduct inspections when it becomes aware of serious welfare concerns.  Routine inspections are being limited based on Animal Care’s risk assessments to both inspectors and facility personnel.  If an inspection is requested, inspectors will work with licensees to address exposure concerns, including the use of video or photos or returning at another time.  Rescheduling for another time will not be considered a refusal of inspection.  APHIS staff is available to discuss individual situations with licensees.

All animals should continue to receive appropriate care to ensure their health and wellbeing.  APHIS encourages all facilities to designate essential personnel.   Should there be a question as to the appropriateness of essential employee’s travel or work during “stay-at-home” public movement restriction orders, APHIS is available to explain the critical nature of the work of essential employees to state and local officials if needed.

Licensees are encouraged to contact their APHIS inspector directly with any questions they may have, or to contact APHIS Animal Care via email at or by calling 970-494-7478 (Ft. Collins, CO, office) or 301-851-3740 (Riverdale, MD, office).

AKC Government Relations’ COVID-19 Resources Page provides up-to-date information on governmental responses to the pandemic.  It may be viewed at  For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at