Animal Welfare Information Center News Feed

The Animal Welfare Information Center News Feed pulls together news items related to animal health, behavior and welfare. It also provides information on new AWIC publications and changes to the AWIC Web site.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 10:06
USDA. APHIS. Animal Care

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2014—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has amended Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations to require that dogs imported to the U.S. meet stronger health and safety standards to protect Americans and Americans’ pets. The new rule ensures that dogs imported for resale are vaccinated and in good health, and required to be over six months of age.

The new regulations are authorized under section 18 of the AWA, which Congress added in the 2008 Farm Bill. In September 2011, APHIS published and took comments on a proposed rule in the Federal Register addressing the requirements of the new section of the AWA.

“This rule implements new requirements in the Animal Welfare Act to ensure dogs imported for resale are healthy and vaccinated,” said Kevin Shea, Administrator for APHIS. “This will help safeguard the imported dogs, the public, and our pets and other animals.”

The final rule applies to dogs imported into the continental U.S., (including Alaska) and Hawaii, from other countries and from U.S. territories to the continental U.S.

This final rule applies to dogs intended for resale. It does not apply to dogs that are imported for research purposes, veterinary medical treatment, or for personal companions.

With Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, APHIS works tirelessly to create and sustain opportunities for America’s farmers, ranchers and producers. Each day, APHIS promotes U.S. agricultural health, regulates genetically engineered organisms, administers the Animal Welfare Act, and carries out wildlife damage management activities, all to help safeguard the nation’s agriculture, fishing and forestry industries. In the event that a pest or disease of concern is detected, APHIS implements emergency protocols and partners with affected states and other countries to quickly manage or eradicate the outbreak. To promote the health of U.S. agriculture in the international trade arena, APHIS develops and advances science-based standards with trading partners to ensure America’s agricultural exports, valued at more than $137 billion annually, are protected from unjustified restrictions.

USDA Posts the Latest Horse Protection Act Enforcement Information
Monday, August 4, 2014 - 11:00
USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

To more efficiently share Horse Protection Act (HPA) information, USDA Animal Care is using the USDA/APHIS Stakeholder Registry to periodically alert you when we post our enforcement activities.

The following link contains the most recent list of violators who have been disqualified from participating in HPA-regulated horse shows/exhibitions/sales/auctions, along with a list of individuals who have paid civil penalties:

The following link contains the most recent HPA activity report:

The following link contains the USDA news release that includes the most recently completed HPA enforcement cases:

We will continue to do all we can to make the cruel and inhumane practice of soring horses a thing of the past. For more information, please visit our Horse Protection Program webpage:

At USDA Animal Care, ensuring the welfare of the animals we regulate is at the heart of everything we do.

ICCVAM Releases 2012-2013 Biennial Report, NLM Updates Hazardous Substances Data Bank
Monday, August 4, 2014 - 10:54
Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)

ICCVAM Releases 2012-2013 Biennial Report

NICEATM announces the availability of the latest ICCVAM Biennial Progress Report, which describes ICCVAM and ICCVAM agency activities during the period from January 2012 through December 2013. In keeping with ICCVAM¹s new focus on member agency priorities, this report highlights ICCVAM member agency research activities supporting toxicology innovation as well as regulatory agency initiatives to promote the 3Rs and provide information about use of in vitro methods.

The main body of the Biennial Report includes three chapters. Chapter 1 provides background information on ICCVAM and its role in coordinating evaluations of alternative toxicological methods and summarizes recent changes in the vision and direction of ICCVAM. Chapter 2 describes activities of ICCVAM and the 15 ICCVAM member agencies relevant to the development and validation of alternative test methods for eye safety testing, biologics and vaccine testing, development of tests to identify potential skin sensitizers, and other areas. Chapter 3 describes ICCVAM outreach, communication, and collaborative activities.

The report is available at

National Library of Medicine Updates Hazardous Substances Data Bank

The Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), a part of NLM¹s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET®), has undergone numerous recent enhancements to its records for chemicals and substances. Examples include the creation of new subheadings in the human and non-human toxicity excerpts to allow users to more efficiently locate data from in vitro and other alternative methods.
Coverage includes results from methods validated by ICCVAM and the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing.

HSDB is available at

AOP Workshop Abstract Deadline, PBPK Modeling Course, USDA Training on Alternatives, ASCCT Annual Meeting
Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 08:21
Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)


Scientific poster abstracts for the upcoming workshop “Adverse Outcome Pathways: From Research to Regulation” are due by close of business on Friday, July 25. Posters should address how adverse outcome pathways may be developed or used (i) to predict toxic effects in humans or ecological systems or (ii) to improve regulatory assessment of chemical toxicity. Posters that address related issues or topics may be considered as space allows. Applications for travel support by students or postdoc presenters are also due July 25.

Submit poster abstracts and applications for travel support by email to Michael Paris ( The corresponding author will be notified of an abstract’s acceptance and provided with guidelines for poster presentation by August 4. Travel support awardees will be notified by August 5. Information on abstract submission, travel support competition, and links to registration are available at

The workshop will be held September 3-5 at the William H. Natcher Conference Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. It is open to the public free of charge with attendance limited only by the space available. The plenary sessions of the workshop will be webcast. Individuals who plan to attend in person or view the webcast should register by August 15.


The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences is offering a one-week course on the principles of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling and the application of this technique in risk assessment, drug development, in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE), and estimation of exposures from human biomonitoring data. The course features comprehensive lectures and extensive hands-on computer modeling practice. Students completing this course can earn up to 30 hours of American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certification Maintenance credit.

The course will be offered September 22-26 at the Hamner Institutes in Research Triangle Park, NC. More information and a link to registration are available at Registration closes September 12.


USDA’s Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) holds free workshops at the National Agricultural Library to help researchers explore alternatives to procedures that may cause pain or distress to their animals. Training is targeted to principal investigators, IACUC members, administrators of animal use programs, veterinarians, librarians, and other information specialists. The workshops provide an overview of relevant topics and resources, instruction on the use of existing databases and websites, and hands-on practice conducting online database searches.

Registration is open for the next workshop, which takes place Nov. 12-14, 2014. Registration is available at; workshops are limited to 20 participants.

AWIC staff members are also available to also to provide training at your institution or conduct training via webinar. Please contact AWIC at 301-504-6212 or at for more information.


The theme of the third Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology is “Where Chemistry and Biology Meet: AOPs as a Framework for Advancing Toxicology.” Dr. Robert Kavlock, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science and interim Science Advisor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will deliver a plenary lecture on adverse outcome pathways. Other invited speakers will discuss computational toxicity tools based on AOPs for liver toxicity and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Big Data to Knowledge initiative.

The meeting will be held November 12th in the National Library of Medicine Lister Hill Auditorium on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. Registration is $75 and includes lunch and a reception. Abstracts for poster presentations should be submitted to ASCCT secretary Kristie Sullivan at by September 26; a small number of abstracts will be selected for oral presentations. More information is available at

Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 10:21
USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 09:53
USDA. ARS. NAL. Animal Welfare Information Center.

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 13:22
USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is continuing to move swiftly and consistently to take enforcement action in response to animal welfare violations. As part of its effort to make its actions transparent and accessible to the public, APHIS is highlighting enforcement actions taken in response to violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA).

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 09:31
USDA. APHIS. Wildlife Services.

Taking on an adult grizzly bear or a pack of wolves is a lot to ask of a livestock protection dog, but it’s a task they willingly take to protect their herds from predation. For centuries, livestock protection dogs have helped ranchers protect livestock from coyotes, feral dogs, foxes, and mountain lions. Without them, thousands of sheep, lambs, and calves would be killed or injured each year.

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 09:27
USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

USDA Animal Care has revised its factsheet entitled Questions and Answers: Regulation of Dog/Cat Breeders and Dealers.

This factsheet provides information that we hope you find useful, including: 1) the types of dog/cat breeders and dealers regulated under the Animal Welfare Act; 2) the standards of care required by USDA; and 3) USDA’s role in the commercial transport of dogs/cats.