OC submits comments on AWA regulation of birds

The Ornithological Council submitted comments this week to the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), regarding their forthcoming regulations for birds not bred for use in research under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). After previous, unfinished attempts at regulating birds under the AWA and subsequent lawsuits forcing agency action, APHIS announced in June 2020 that they were once again starting the rule-making process to develop regulations governing birds not bred for use in research.

In October 2020, the OC submitted written comments and also offered public testimony during a virtual listening session held by APHIS to gather information to assist the agency in the development of their regulations. In June 2020, APHIS released those draft regulations. The comments submitted by the OC this week in response to those draft regulations note that, while the OC believes strongly that all birds should be treated humanely, in the laboratory and in the field, additional regulation of birds under the AWA may well be duplicative to already existing regulation of such research under different laws and rules. Read the OC’s comment letter here.

Unsure how regulation of birds under the AWA will affect you? Check out the OC’s fact sheet on birds and the AWA.