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Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Animal Care division announced an extension of the comment period for public input on possible updates to Animal Welfare Act licensing requirements.  Originally due on Monday, October 23, the comments are now open until Tuesday, November 2, 2017. 

USDA APHIS issued a public request for comment on potential changes to the Animal Welfare Act’s (AWA) licensing requirements in August.  Based in part on the information it hopes to receive, APHIS may implement changes to “better promote sustained compliance with the AWA, reduce licensing fees and burdens, and strengthen existing safeguards that prevent individuals and businesses who are unfit to hold a license from obtaining a licensing or working with regulated animals.”

The full list of potential changes can be viewed here.  Impacted individuals may provide comments directly to the USDA through November 2, 2017, either online at or in writing at: Docket No. APHIS-2017-0062, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

The AKC continues to draft a response to USDA based on our experience and expertise in impacted areas. In an effort to provide a unified response that appropriately reflects modern husbandry and welfare practices, as well as the input of impacted dog owners and breeders, AKC welcomes comments from interested and potentially affected dog owners, breeders, rescues or other groups potentially impacted by the proposed rulemaking.  AKC will incorporate substantive feedback and data into its comments to USDA.  AKC requests information be provided by Friday, October 27, 2017.  Feedback may be provided online via AKC GR’s online form (powered by Google Forms, Google account required to use), or via email at

AKC thanks you for your attention to this important matter, and for participating in its effort to collect data on these important issues.  Feedback provided to AKC and to USDA will help shape the future of Animal Welfare Act regulations.  For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720 or at