On Thursday June 23, 2016 the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced it is considering whether to revise the Animal Welfare Act regulations governing the handling of (and public contact with) dangerous animals.
In 2012, a coalition of animal advocacy organizations petitioned APHIS to ban all public contact with dangerous animals exhibited under the Animal Welfare Act. The agency published the petition and received more than 15,000 comments. APHIS is now reopening the comment period until August 31, 2016; as it seeks the public’s input on additional questions that will help the agency better determine its course of action.
The questions are included in a notice, which is available for public inspection on the Federal Register website.