[SAOVA_East] News Briefs; APHIS proposed rule updates

Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) saova_east at mailman.montana.com
Thu Jul 5 20:40:31 MDT 2012

July 5, 2012

SAOVA friends,

As you know APHIS has proposed a rule to regulate sellers in the retail sector. For the majority of us compliance with USDA Licensing is not an option. It does not matter how well you think you care for your animals, Federal regulations are not flexible and do not allow for your own discretion.  You must strictly adhere to what the regulations and your inspector say are acceptable equipment, care, and husbandry practices.


The rule will penalize many hard-working Americans caught up under this regulation who are not operating as true businesses. If required to hold a license, you can be fined by USDA simply for being at work and not being home to let the inspector onto your property.


APHIS released a revised FAQ today in which they attempt to answer questions concerning who will be regulated under the proposed rule.  While the FAQ contains new APHIS staff explanations of "face-to-face" contact, primary enclosures, and kennels, none of these interpretations are carried over into the regulations. A revision to the AWA containing a separate set of regulations for in-home breeders has not been written or posted; therefore nothing in this fight has changed. The comment period still ends July 16. 



Urge Congress to take action to stop APHIS from regulating us out of existence.  To add your organization's name send an email signed by an officer of the organization stating opposition to: Susan Wolf cubhill at earthlink.net. Please include organization address. 

View the list at http://www.saova.org/APHIS_Opposition.List.html


Many thanks to all who have already signed on! Cross posting is encouraged.  


Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's & Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
Working to Identify and Elect Supportive Legislators
saova at earthlink.net


Reports by Air Carriers on Incidents Involving Animals During Air Transport


DOT is proposing to amend its existing rule regarding the reporting of incidents involving animals during air transport, 14 CFR 234.13, to expand the reporting requirement to U.S. carriers that operate scheduled service with at least one aircraft with a design capacity of more than 60 seats, to expand the definition of "animal" to include all cats and dogs transported by the carrier, regardless of whether the cat or dog is transported as a pet by its owner or as part of a commercial shipment (e.g., shipped by a breeder), and to require all covered carriers to provide in their December reports the total number of animals that were lost, injured, or died during air transport. 



On August 10, 2010, Senators Richard Durbin, Robert Menendez, and Joseph Lieberman wrote to the Secretary of Transportation urging the Department to amend the rule so that airlines would be required to report all incidents involving the loss, injury, or death of cats and dogs that occur while they are traveling in an airline's care. In addition, the DOT received a petition for rulemaking from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). In its petition, ALDF requested that regulation requiring the reporting of loss, injury, or death of animals in air transport be revised to require airlines to report any such incident involving animals they carry. In a press release ALDF stated, "Current Regulations Ignore Deaths, Injuries to Animals Shipped by Puppy Mill Operators. Whether an animal is shipped as a pet or as an item of commerce has no bearing whatsoever on that animal's ability to suffer." ALDF contends that the data currently collected by the Department capture only incidents affecting pets, even though pets make up only part of the total number of animals transported by airlines. ALDF's proposal would apply to ALL species of animals, not just cats and dogs. 


This NPRM proposes to expand the applicability of the rule to require all U.S. carriers that operate scheduled service with at least one aircraft with a design capacity of more than 60 passenger seats to submit a report to the ACPD on any incidents involving the loss, injury, or death of an animal during air transportation within 15 days after the end of the month during which the incident occurred.


The DOT seeks comments on whether the definition of an animal should be expanded further to include not only dogs and cats in commercial shipments but all species of animals in commercial air transportation. The DOT is seeking comment, rather than proposing specific language on expanding the definition of an animal to apply to all species of animals, at this time as the overwhelming majority of incidents currently reported to DOT by airlines have involved cats and dogs.


The DOT also seeks comments on whether the number of cats, dogs, and household pets has been increasing or decreasing in recent years; and whether the total number of animals transported should be reported each month.

COMMENTS should be filed by August 28, 2012. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable.


Comments may be submitted at the Federal Register Portal http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=DOT-OST-2010-0211-0008



The NBI CLE Blog posted a comment by Michael Kaiser, president of the Kaiser Legal Group, founder of Seattle Legal Research, and contributor to what is expected to be globally ground-breaking animal-law litigation.   Kaiser writes, "The Nonhuman Rights Project is currently preparing to bring cases in multiple state courts seeking legal personhood for animals. Legal personhood is similar to, but more encompassing than, "standing," with the overall goal being for animals' interests, as purported sentient beings, to be representable in court. Currently animals are viewed, in almost all instances, as various forms of property, and property, in itself, obviously does not have rights. These expected court actions are no secret. Professor Steven Wise, noted animal-law scholar, lawyer, and founder of the Nonhuman Rights Project, has presented details of the cases in many forums." 

More at http://tinyurl.com/ct3v8zp 

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