About The USDA Inspectors

• Experts in animal care and husbandry

• Formal training and a background in animal-related fields

• Specialized training in recognizing pain and suffering

• Regular continuing education on new information related to animal welfare and health


USDA Inspectors Ensure that;

– The facility is in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act at all times, and is ready for visitors

– Paperwork is correctly complete, up-to-date, and available for review by Inspectors



Types of USDA Licenses

• USDA Class A – Commercial breeders

• USDA Class B – Brokers and operators of an auction sale

• USDA Class C – Exhibitors


Inspection Check List

  • Housing—Animals must be housed in a structurally sound facility in good repair. The facility must contain the animals and protect them from other animals or extreme weather and temperatures. Drainage systems must also be in good repair.
  • Ventilation—Animals must be provided with cool air or increased ventilation if the ambient temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit or heat if the temperature falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lighting—Facilities must be lit well enough to allow safe and easy access for feeding, cleaning, and complete inspection.
  • Interior Surfaces—The interior of a facility must be substantially impervious to moisture and be able to be easily cleaned and sanitized.
  • Primary Enclosures—Animals must be housed in structurally sound enclosures that are in good repair and meet APHIS’ minimum space requirements. The floors must protect the animals from injury. The cages must be dry and clean and allow animals easy access to food and water.
  • Sanitation—Animal waste must be removed and disposed of regularly and as necessary. Primary cages or enclosures should be sanitized at least once every 2 weeks. Facilities must not allow trash to accumulate.
  • Pest Control—Facility managers must have an effective program to control insects, ectoparasites, and avian and mammalian pests.
  • Feeding and Watering—Animals must be provided with nutritious, palatable food that is free from contamination, properly stored, and served in a clean receptacle. Potable water must be made available twice daily for 1 hour if it is not available all the time.
  • Outdoor Shelter—Animals must be protected from sunlight, precipitation, and extreme temperatures.
  • Compatibility—Female animals in heat must be separated from male animals except for breeding purposes. Animals with vicious dispositions should be housed apart from other animals. Puppies and kittens should be separated from adult animals other than their mothers. Different species of animals should not be housed together unless compatible.
  • Recordkeeping—Facility managers must maintain accurate and complete records of the sources of all animals that come into their possession. Managers are also required to keep records of the dates of acquisition and disposition and to properly identify the animals on the premises. These records must be made available for inspection whenever necessary.
  • Adequate Veterinary Care—Programs of disease control and prevention, euthanasia, and veterinary care must be established and maintained under the supervision and assistance of a veterinarian. A caretaker also must observe the animals daily.
  • Handling—Every licensee is required to handle animals properly at all times whether he or she is petting, working, feeding, crating, performing, or transferring them.
  • Transportation—Licensees and registrants are required to provide animals with adequate space, ventilation, and shipping containers during transportation. Most animals transported must be weaned and at least 8 weeks old.