USDA to allow quicker rescue

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2001:

WASHINGTON D.C.–An amendment to the federal Animal Welfare Act enforcement regulations taking effect on February 2, 2001 allows the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to “allow animals confiscated from situations detrimental to their health to be placed with non-USDA licensed persons or facilities,” such as humane societies and sanctuaries which are not under USDA jurisdiction because they are not normally engaged in interstate commerce.

“With this new regulation,” said Cat Fanciers Association legislative coordinator Joan Miller, “APHIS inspectors will be able to move more quickly and efficiently to remove animals [from abusive situations] when necessary for their health, and get them into the hands of shelters and rescue organizations that can care for their needs.

“Chances of a sudden rash of USDA confiscations overwhelming dog or cat rescue groups or local humane societies under this rule change are unlikely,” Miller continued, because historically the USDA has confiscated animals only a few times per year.¬†However, USDA-APHIS personnel have several times told ANIMAL PEOPLE that confiscations would be more frequent if the agency had more viable options for placement of animals removed from substandard facilities. This rules change may provide those options.

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