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The American Kennel Club (AKC) applauds the decision announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that it will not establish new criteria for recognizing third-party inspection and certification programs when determining APHIS’ own inspection frequency under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Earlier this year, APHIS requested comments from stakeholders, state partners, and the public regarding the recognition of, and use of information from, third-party groups’ inspection and certification programs as means of determining the frequency of its own inspections.  APHIS reports that the vast majority of the over 35,000 comments received, and that stakeholders on all sides of the issue, including the AKC, were not in support of the idea.  As a result, APHIS will continue to use its current risk-based inspection system to determine the frequency of inspections.

AKC’s full comment may be viewed by downloading the pdf file at

The American Kennel Club congratulates the many concerned breeders and owners who provided written comment to APHIS, or who attended one of APHIS’ public in-person or virtual listening sessions and expressed concerns.

AKC’s Government Relations Department (AKC GR) will continue to provide information on pending federal legislation or regulatory proposals as developments warrant.  For more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or