Animal Welfare Program:

Federal Regulation Relating to the Transportation of Dogs

RCED-88-100: Published: Mar 21, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) regulation of the transportation of dogs for sale in the wholesale pet trade, focusing on APHIS: (1) responsibilities for regulating dog transport; (2) plans to revise its regulations; and (3) views on state governments' and private organizations' monitoring roles.

GAO found that APHIS: (1) regulates transportation standards and minimum age and health certification requirements for transporting dogs; (2) inspects registered carriers' and intermediate handlers' vehicles and records for compliance with these regulations; (3) inspects licensed dealers' privately owned vehicles for cleanliness and safety conditions; and (4) plans to require these dealers to comply with minimum age and health certification requirements. GAO also found that: (1) about 24 states have animal welfare legislation, but generally do not monitor dog transport, since APHIS has this responsibility and there are regulation and enforcement uniformity problems among states; (2) local anticruelty laws provide some local humane societies with enforcement power; and (3) APHIS believes that industry self-regulation offers the greatest potential for improving dog transport.

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