USDA to Host Additional Listening Session as it Considers Whether to Recognize Third-Party Inspections and Certifications of Animal Welfare Act Facilities; Comments Now Being Accepted Online

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USDA Animal Care will host an additional, in-person listening session on March 22 in Columbus, Ohio, and we have fixed a technical glitch so you can now submit comments online via the Federal Register

This added session will be held from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel, located at 2886 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH 43219. 

We apologize to those of you who tried submitting online comments via the Federal Register this week. You can now successfully do so here. Thank you for your patience. 

We are seeking your feedback on whether we should recognize inspections (and similar reviews) by third-party programs when determining the frequency of federal inspections for facilities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act. We hosted our first in-person listening session on January 18. We now have four remaining in-person listening sessions and one virtual session. Any interested person may speak. A list of locations and dates for these sessions, along with instructions for registering, are located here. You will also find instructions for submitting written comments. 

Our inspectors conduct routine, unannounced inspections of all Animal Welfare Act licensees and registrants. Various factors determine the inspection frequency for each entity – including a facility’s history of adhering to the federal regulations and standards. Some licensees and registrants already use a third-party program to support animal welfare at their facilities. We are interested in learning more about these programs, and hearing our regulated community’s and stakeholders’ views on how we might consider the use of these programs in our administration of the Animal Welfare Act. 


USDA Animal Care. Ensuring humane treatment. Serving people. Doing right.