The USDA is supposed to uphold the integrity of the Animal Welfare Act, yet it has failed.
Failures include refusing to revoke the licenses of those who violate of the Animal Welfare Act. The legislation was designed to protect lost or stolen pets from becoming research subjects, but it’s not being adequately enforced by the USDA. Animal brokers who obtain dogs and cats from shelters and then sell them to research and education facilities – random source Class B dealers – have a long history of Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations, some of which include illegal acquisition of animals, improper record keeping, and failure to provide adequate veterinary care. Yet the USDA doesn’t seem to care.
In September, the Government of Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an audit of USDA’s oversight of random source Class B dealers, and concluded that USDA is failing to adequately monitor the activities of animal brokers. The GAO audit revealed multiple AWA violations, and record keeping that was so poor that 16% of original sources for animals could not be confirmed and 13% of tracebacks from 2009 remain incomplete.
Random source Class B dealers are animal brokers that obtain dogs and cats from shelters and other sources, and then sell them to research and education facilities. Class B deals are only required by the AWA to only obtain animals from licensed dealers or breeders so that lost or stolen pets do not mistakenly become victims of animal experiments. Today, there are 10 random source Class B dealers operating in the U.S., and six are under investigation for AWA violations. Despite this, random source Class B dealers continue to reap huge profits from their unscrupulous business dealings.
Animals cannot count on the USDA to protect them from random source Class B dealers. Animals need more protection. The Pet Safety and Protection Act (H.R. 3907 & S. 1834) will stop random source Class B dealers from acquiring cats and dogs from shelters.
Please support the Pet Safety and Protection Act. Please contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to spare America’s dogs and cats from a life in research laboratories by supporting the Pet Safety and Protection Act (H.R. 3907 & S. 1834), legislation that would ban random source Class B dealers. To take action, go to www.aavs.org/PetSafety or visit the HSUS Humane Alert on the same topic.