Committee Reports

Letter urging the USDA to promulgate regulations concerning humane treatment of birds under Animal Welfare Act


The Animal Law Committee (Lori Barrett, Chair) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging prompt promulgation and enforcement of regulations with respect to birds covered under the Animal Welfare Act. The Committee notes that birds (excluding birds bred for research and poultry birds used or intended for use as food or fiber) have been included in the definition of animal in the AWA since 2002, yet the USDA has not been enforcing the AWA with respect to birds. The AWA covers the conduct of dealers, exhibitors, research facilities, operators of auction sales, and carriers and intermediate handlers—including zoos and pet dealers. The USDA’s failure to promulgate regulations with respect to birds covered under the AWA has led to widespread confusion causing many to believe that the Act’s protections do not apply to birds.