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While the Animal Welfare Act (and its amendments over the years) explains the intent of Congress, the Animal Care Policy (ACP) Manual defines the details of how the AWA will be administered. The Manual gives guidance to USDA field inspectors and others who will be subject to the provisions of the Act. Essentially, the Manual interprets the law.


Introductory Course for Commercial Dog Breeders

The USDA worked with Iowa State University's Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH) to provide information on federal licensing and regulatory requirements. Announcement posted on 04/02/2013. View:

USDA To Offer Course on Requirements for Commercial Breeders

An eleven-part course was developed by the CFSPH and USDA. Below is the link to the powerpoint presentation.

NOTE: While the course provides clarity on requirements, it also reinforces the fact that breeding is a commercial activity and, in essence, promotes the mass production of puppies and kittens. Breeding dogs and cats and selling the puppies and kittens generates profits for the producers. This course provides information to encourage and sustain this industry (no matter how large the facility).

Introductory Course for Commercial Dog Breeders

Topics covered include:

Presentation 1: Introduction to APHIS Animal Care and the Regulatory Process

Presentation 2: The Licensing Process

Presentation 3: Maintaining Your License

Presentation 4: Program of Veterinary Care

Presentation 5: Exercise

Presentation 6: Identifying Animals and Keeping Records

Presentation 7: Housing Part 1 (General Overview)

Presentation 8: Housing Part 2

Presentation 9: Husbandry Standards

Presentation 10: Transportation and Minimum Age Requirements

Presentation 11: Brokers and Auctions


Input about the Manual

Input from the public about the Manual is requested at various times. In 2007, the USDA requested comments be submitted by November 2007. Below are comments and links from a few organizations at that time. The Companion Animal Protection Society (see link below) reviewed the Manual and submitted comments. Examples:

• Involvement of licensed veterinarian
Within the ACP Manual, it is stated that USDA-APHIS grants approval for such procedures as microchip implantation, euthanasia, spays and neuters, and cesarean section operations, but it doesn’t specifically state that a licensed veterinarian must perform these procedures. By not stating this as a rule, certain breeders may perform procedures on their own, creating pain and suffering to animals.

• Compliance inspections
Within the ACP Manual, it also states that a new applicant can fail to pass three compliance inspections within 90 days of the first inspection. In other words, animals are subjected to substandard conditions over three months as violations pile up.


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