Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Animal Welfare Act

Animal Welfare Act (7 USC 2131-2155; 80 Stat. 350, 84 Stat. 1560, 90 Stat. 417, 99 Stat. 1645, 104 Stat. 4066, 5177; 105 Stat. 1984; 109 Stat. 711, 948), as amended -- Also referred to as the Federal Laboratory Animal Welfare Act, and includes the Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act.

Public Law 89-544, approved August 24, 1966 (80 Stat. 350), as repeatedly amended, directs the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate and insure the humane care and treatment of dogs, cats and certain other animals used for research, experimentation, exhibition and sale purposes, as well as to assure humane treatment of animals during transportation in commerce and to protect owners of animals from theft by preventing the sale or use of animals which have been stolen.

The Act also directs consultation and cooperation with other Federal agencies concerned with the welfare of animals in the establishment of standards and in carrying out other purposes of the Act. (See also the Lacey Act.)

Public Law 107-171 amended Section 10301's definition of "animals" used in research, experimentation, testing, or exhibitions to specifically exclude birds, rats, and mice bred for use in research.

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