Exhibition Animals

Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act was signed into law in 1966. While its original intent was to regulate the care and use of animals in the laboratory, it has become the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers.


Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media

American Humane Association

Codified in the Producer-Screen Actors Guild Agreement Since 1980 The American Humane Association works with producers to facilitate safe, effective and efficient performances by animal actors.


Regulation of Animal Exhibitors (PDF | 64 KB)

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

An overview of USDA of animal exhibitors.


Captive Wildlife Safety Act

U.S. Department of Justice.

This law (effective September 17, 2007) makes it illegal to move certain types of big cats across State lines for U.S. borders unless qualified as exempt.


Animal Welfare Act Guidelines for County and State Fairs (PDF | 36 KB)

USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) requires people who exhibit animals to the public for compensation to be licensed with the USDA. The AWA also excludes certain activities from this requirement, including the exhibition of agricultural animals for the purposes of promoting agricultural arts, sciences, and production. This means that agricultural exhibits at State and county fairs are exempt. However, some exhibition activities found at State and county fairs do require the exhibitors to be licensed under the AWA.


Big Cat Question and Answer

USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

Commonly asked quesions about big cats (lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cougars, cheetahs, and any hybrids).


Information Sheet on Declawing and Tooth Removal

USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

This 2006 factsheet provides notice that under the Animal Welfare Act, declawing or removal of canine teeth are no longer allowed.


AZA Accreditation Information

Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Information on the standards required of accredited zoological institutions. AZA provides additional information about the accreditation process on their web site.


ZAA Accreditation Information

Zoological Association of America.

Provides information on the accreditation process and standards required for husbandry and animal care practices at ZAA accredited facilities.