Do you want to support Animal Welfare* but don’t know where to start your action potential? Want to do more than forward social media posts about it? Start by checking to make sure the business’ you work with are not on federal violation lists! One of the assets I have to affect change is my careful consideration and decision on who gets my business; and as a responsible US citizen – I can also file a complaint. *The Animal Welfare Act and its associated regulations require that federally established standards of care and treatment be provided for certain warm-blooded animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially or exhibited to the public. Speaking from regulatory experience, one or two complaints will only get “deep sixed” – but a lot of different complaints stemming from an organized effort will get attention (and documented).
Another great move is to support local Rescue Agencies and Personnel that take care of the catastrophic and homeless animals that can’t get cared for properly. I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to do that kind of work directly, so I try to support my local heroes who can do the work that I want done for animals but turn a blind eye to. They need monetary donations and animals need homes of course, but they would also be happy with an old towel for a crate comforter or a thank you as fuel to continue their Ethos.
I read Federal Agency reports regularly, especially ones that have ultimate oversight by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The government publishes Animal Welfare violations every month in this News Room. This is one that the USDA issued for the month of June 2016 listing enforcement actions taken by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) against certain businesses violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA):
- AWA Docket No. 16-0118; William Brackston Lee, III dba Laughing Valley Ranch.
- AWA Docket No. 16-0119; City of Independence, Kansas dba Ralph Mitchell Zoo.
- APHIS Case No. LA140004-AC and TX150073-AC; Covance Research Products, Inc.
- APHIS Case No. OK150010-AC; Oklahoma State University.
- APHIS Case No. WY150001-AC; Eastern Wyoming College.
- APHIS Case No. KS150010-AC; Dot’s Little Doggies, Inc.
- AWA Docket No. 15-0005; Phyllis J. Britz dba Windy Ridge Kennels.
- HPA Docket No. 15-0001; William Brock Tillman.
- HPA Docket No. 16-0026; Rocky Roy McCoy.
Copies of documents related to these actions, as well as copies of official warnings, are available in the APHIS FOIA Reading Room at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/enforcementactions
Thank you for putting effort, time and consideration into social leadership.