Petition Closed

Update the Animal Welfare Act to improve animal safety and health.

Enacted in 1966, the Animal Welfare Act requires that basic standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred and sold for use as pets, used in biomedical research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public. Individuals who operate facilities in these categories must provide their animals with adequate care and treatment in the areas of housing, handling, sanitation, nutrition, water, veterinary care, and protection from extreme weather and temperatures. Although federal requirements establish basic standards, regulated businesses are encouraged to exceed these standards (www.aphis.usda.gov).

The law hasn't been amended by the U.S. Legislature since 1990, allowing aquariums, zoos, and other organizations to operate under minimalistic, out-of-date standards of care. The subpar regulations and enforcement procedures contribute to animal sickness and even death. According to a 2004 article from the Florida Sun-Sentinel, 30 years worth of federal documents showed more than 3,850 sea lions, seals, dolphins and whales have died under human care, many of them at a young age. The majority of those deaths were attributed to "uniquely human hazards or seemingly avoidable causes," including capture shock, stress during transit, poisoning, and routine medical care. 

A lot has changed in terms of animal husbandry in the last 20 years. The law should reflect those advancements.

This petition was delivered to:
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services
    Dr. Gregory Parham
  • Representative
    Kevin McCarthy
  • State Senator
    Jim Beall


Amy Blasco started this petition with a single signature, and now has 113 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.