A final rule amending the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licensing requirements for all regulated animals has been released by USDA.
The new regulations will promote compliance, reduce licensing fees, and strengthen safeguards that prevent individuals or businesses with a history of noncompliance from obtaining a license, according to USDA.
Licensees will have to demonstrate compliance with the AWA and show their animals are adequately cared for in order to obtain a license. The new changes are also supposed to streamline the licensing process and reduce the regulatory burden for licensees who are fully compliant by reducing fees and simplifying the payment process.
USDA posted an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in 2017 and received more than 47,000 comments. A
fter consideration, USDA proposed a rule in March 2019 and received more than 110,600 comments. The final rule is available at federalregister.gov by searching for Document ID 85 FR 28772.