The Animal Welfare Act is a federal law that governs the transportation, sale and handling of certain animals. More specifically, it ensures that animals are provided with humane care and treatment during transportation, purchase, sale, housing, care, and handling by persons or organizations using them for research or exhibition purposes or as pets. That includes dealers who sell animals to laboratories, animal exhibitors, carriers, and intermediate handlers, dog and cat breeders, puppy mills, zoos, circuses, roadside menageries, and transporters of animals. It excludes retail pet stores, state and county fairs, livestock shows, rodeos, purebred dog and cat shows, and fairs or exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences.
The organization charged with enforcing the AWA is the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
A person or organization found in violation of the AWA may face fines and/or imprisonment.
The following links will provide you with information on animal welfare related laws, statutes and codes. After review, if your question remains unanswered, please contact Humane Investigations at (763) 489-2236 or online.
Animal licenses and ordinances are established to protect both people and animals in your community. Requirements for keeping a companion animal differ among the various cities. Contact your local animal control or law enforcement offices to determine the guidelines that have been set for your community.