Last week, US Congressman Raja Krishnamurti reintroduced a bipartisan Animal Rights Protection Act (AWEIA) to improve Animal Welfare Act (AWA) standards by strengthening United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensing process for animal sellers and exhibitors.
“The Animal Welfare Act is the most important piece of legislation for the protection of animals, but it must be effectively enforced and therefore the Animal Safety Enhancement Act needs to be reintroduced,” Congressman Krishnamurti said in a statement. statement. “This law will end rampant animal abuse by strengthening oversight and transparency in the licensing of animal traders and exhibitors, ensuring that those who abuse animals do not have the opportunity to do it again.”
Animal sellers and exhibitors, including circuses, zoos, educational exhibitions, contact farms, wildlife parks, marine mammal parks, some animal sanctuaries and commercial dog breeders – are required to obtain a license and comply with AWA requirements. Dealers and exhibitors must renew their licenses annually. However, the current process is based on self-certification, and the USDA’s stated policy is to continually renew the license even when the licensee commits persistent animal-threatening violations.
Incomprehensible, according to Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) research from 2016 Nov. to 2020, was 67% the number of AWA reviews that documented links has dropped, the number of new investigations has dropped by almost 90% during this period.
The Animal Safety Improvement Act strengthens AWA’s enforcement and licensing process to hold dealers and exhibitors accountable. Law approved Animal Welfare Institute, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Animal Legal Defense Fund, US Humane Society, Humane Society Legislative Foundation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Physicians Committee on responsible medicine.
Key provisions of the legislation include:
Requiring animal traders and exhibitors to renew their licenses annually, including full pre-license inspection.
Checks prior to license issuance or renewal must be carried out without prior notice.
For initial applications, the applicant will only have two chances to get verified. If any inconsistency is found during the second review, the application will be rejected and the applicant can reapply after one year.
Renewal will require the licensee to have no more than one documented non-compliance with any humane animal care standard in the previous two years.
A prohibition by the USDA to issue or renew a license if the dealer or exhibitor has been found to have violated any federal, state, or local animal welfare laws, or if the applicant applies for a license that bypasses state or local law prohibiting private the ownership of some animals as pets.
Requiring USDA to suspend the license of any dealer or exhibitor who commits an offense that poses a risk to animal welfare and to revoke the license permanently (after notification and a hearing is possible) if the violation persists or the licensee commits more than one violation.
Prohibiting dealers and exhibitors whose licenses are suspended or revoked from obtaining another license under a different company name, through a business partner or family member, or hire another licensee to work with animals during the suspension or revocation period.
Resolving civil claims to enforce the Animal Welfare Act (similar to the Endangered Species Act and other major federal environmental laws).
Requiring USDA to publish all inspection reports, enforcement protocols, and animal inventories online unchanged (as previously February 2017)
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and glass. #GoVeg
The message is breaking! Reintroduced the Animal Safety Improvement Act to help protect captive animals in the United States first appeared in World Animal News.