Animal Welfare; Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions

This Proposed Rule document was issued by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
9 CFR Parts 1 and 2
[Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003]
RIN 0579-AC36

Animal Welfare; Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions

Agency

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

Action

Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

Summary

We are extending the comment period for our proposed rule that would revise the definition of retail pet store and related regulations to bring more pet animals sold at retail under the protection of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). We are also announcing the availability of a revised factsheet regarding our proposal. These actions will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

Dates

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 15, 2012.

Addresses

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0003.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0003 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

For Further Information Contact

Dr. Gerald Rushin, Veterinary Medical Officer, Animal Care, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 84, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-3740.

Supplementary Information

Background

On May 16, 2012, we published in theFederal Register(77 FR 28799-28805, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003) a proposal to revise the definition of retail pet store and related regulations to bring more pet animals sold at retail under the protection of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

“Retail pet stores” are not required to obtain a license under the AWA or comply with the AWA regulations and standards. Currently, anyone selling, at retail, the following animals for use as pets are considered retail pet stores: Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, gophers, chinchilla, domestic ferrets, domestic farm animals, birds, and cold-blooded species.

Under the proposed rule, “retail pet store” status would not apply to such retailers if buyers do not physically enter the seller's place of business or residence in order to personally observe the animals available for sale prior to purchase and/or to take custody of the animals after purchase. Unless otherwise exempt under the regulations, these entities would be required to obtain a license from APHIS and would become subject to the requirements of the AWA. The proposed rule would exempt from regulation anyone who sells or negotiates the sale or purchase of any animal, except wild or exotic animals, dogs, or cats, and who derives no more than $500 gross income from the sale of such animals. In addition, the proposed rule would increase from three to four the number of breeding female dogs, cats, and/or small exotic or wild mammals that a person may maintain on his or her premises and be exempt from licensing and inspection if he or she sells only the offspring of those animals born and raised on his or her premises for use as pets or exhibition, regardless of whether those animals are sold at retail or wholesale.

Comments on the proposed rule were required to be received on or before July 16, 2012. We are extending the comment period on Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003 for an additional 30 days. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

We are also announcing the availability of a revised factsheet to clarify our proposed actions. The revised factsheet is available on the Web at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_welfare/2012/retail_pets_faq.pdf.

Authority

7 U.S.C. 2131-2159; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.7.

Done in Washington, DC, this 11th day of July 2012.
Edward Avalos,
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-17283 Filed 7-13-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
 
 
Comment Period Closed
ID: APHIS-2011-0003-8841
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Document Information

Date Posted: Jul 16, 2012
RIN: 0579-AD57
CFR: 9 CFR Parts 1 and 2
Federal Register Number: 2012-17283
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Comments

40
Comments Received*
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* This count refers to the total comment/submissions received on this document, as of 11:59 PM yesterday. Note: Agencies review all submissions, however some agencies may choose to redact, or withhold, certain submissions (or portions thereof) such as those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign. This can result in discrepancies between this count and those displayed when conducting searches on the Public Submission document type. For specific information about an agency’s public submission policy, refer to its website or the Federal Register document.

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