Protect animals covered under the Animal Welfare Act!
Across the country, millions of animals living in facilities regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture—like dogs in puppy mills or bears and primates in roadside zoos— are suffering. This is despite the fact that their health and well-being should be protected by rules set out under the Animal Welfare Act. Although the AWA has evolved over the years to improve the treatment of animals in these facilities, there is still much work to be done. That’s why we are encouraged by recent plans proposed by the USDA to propose new amendments to enhance regulations and standards for animals covered under the AWA.
The proposed changes concern harmful public handling of animals, like bear cubs used in photo ops or cub petting operations in roadside zoos, as well as requiring enrichment for animals like puppies and kittens who are raised in small cages in pet mills and other licensed facilities. This could be a major step forward to protect and improve the lives of a vast number of animals in a variety of settings. It is imperative that USDA hears from YOU that you believe these regulations are necessary for animal welfare.
Please use the form to send a message to Lance Bassage, VMD Director of National Policy Staff, Animal Care, and urge USDA to propose regulations that explicitly prohibit direct and unsafe close contact between the public and wild animals in regulated facilities and propose programs to promote enrichment and psychological well-being for all species covered under the Animal Welfare Act.