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Today, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) provided an update on its plans to restart its routine inspections program.

To ensure the safety of all involved, APHIS inspectors will use personal protective equipment and maintain social distancing at all times.  Initial screening questions will be asked to ensure it will be safe to conduct inspections.  Records reviews and exit briefings may be conducted remotely after an inspection.

APHIS will prioritize inspections of facilities that have had recent direct or critical non-compliances,  applicants for new licenses whose facilities have not yet been inspected, and those facilities for which serious complaints or concerns have been reported.

To help provide guidance to licensees or applicants, APHIS has created an extensive Standard Operating Procedures document that describes the process for considering all factors and making decisions about inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

USDA licensees and applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Standard Operating Procedures document.  Those with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact APHIS’ Animal Care Program at, or AKC’s Government Relations Department at