USDA Will Now Classify Dingoes and New Guinea Singing Dogs as Exotic Animals

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USDA has always regulated dingoes and New Guinea singing dogs as dogs under the Animal Welfare Act, but to keep pace with the latest scientific reclassification, we will now regulate these animals as exotic animals – as we do coyotes and African wild dogs.  

The dingo is a wild dog native to Australia and Thailand, and the New Guinea singing dog is a wild dog native to Papua New Guinea. These animals are genetically different than domesticated dogs, and most scientists point to this fact as sufficient to classify them as a separate subspecies. 

Although we anticipate minimal, if any, impact in terms of regulatory requirements, all USDA licensees and registrants holding dingoes or New Guinea singing dogs will have 60 days (or until June 17, 2016) to ensure they are in compliance with the provisions in Part 3 (Standards), Subpart F (Sections 3.125 – 3.142), of the Animal Welfare Act regulations. 

We have detailed this new classification in a new publication, located here.


At USDA Animal Care, ensuring the welfare of the animals we regulate is at the heart of everything we do.