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The Animal Welfare Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences (NCAGR) is proposing updates to the rules used to carry out the state’s Animal Welfare Act.  The proposed revisions reflect changes in guidelines and best practices for licensees as well as changes in regulated industries.

The rules apply to facilities licensed or registered as animal shelters, boarding kennels, pet shops, dealers, public auctions, and euthanasia technicians under the act.  North Carolina law defines “dealer” as any person who sells, exchanges, or donates, or offers to sell, exchange, or donate animals to another dealer, pet shop, or research facility.  It also says that an individual who breeds and raises on his own premises no more than the offspring of five canine or feline females per year, unless bred and raised specifically for research purposes, is not to be considered a dealer.

The proposal updates:

  • Recordkeeping requirements for animal shelters and boarding kennels.
  • Applicable definitions, and adds a new definition of “surgical procedure” that may limit artificial insemination procedures on licensed dealers’ breeding stock to those performed by North Carolina-licensed veterinarians.
  • Facilities and operating standards, including standards for food storage; fencing; indoor heating/cooling, ventilation, and drainage requirements; outdoor building standards; primary enclosure standards; feeding/watering standards; and sanitation standards.
  • Program of veterinary care requirements, including disease control practices.
  • Transportation standards.
  • Euthanasia standards.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) encourages all licensees and registrants under North Carolina’s Animal Welfare Act to fully review the proposal and determine any impact it may have on their facility operations.  Those with concerns are encouraged to submit comments to Anna Hayworth, Agricultural Program Specialist, NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 1002 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699; phone (984) 236-4509; email  Comments must be received by Monday, February 14, 2022.

Concerned parties are also encouraged to express concerns in person at NCAGR’s Wednesday, January 5, 2022, public hearing.  The hearing will begin at 130PM at the NC State Fairgrounds-Martin Building, 4381 Trinity Road, Raleigh, NC 27607.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at