Petition to United States Department of Agriculture Requesting New Regulations to Confiscate and Protect Animals When Facilities Go Out Of Business

On behalf of and with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) we submitted a rulemaking petition to the United States Department of Agriculture requesting it to promulgate new regulations that would provide for the protection of animals held at exhibition facilities that go out of business, either on their own, or because their USDA license has been revoked or otherwise terminated.  Under the current system, the USDA takes the position that it lacks authority to confiscate and relocate animals from a facility once the facility is no longer “licensed” under the Animal Welfare Act.  As a result, in those cases where a facility either stops doing business as an exhibitor or its license is revoked or terminated, the USDA does nothing to protect the animals in the possession of the facility.  The petition submitted today explains that the USDA has sufficient statutory authority to take measures to insure that any such animals are rescued and placed in appropriate sanctuaries.  A copy of the petition can be found here.