Blog – Animal Law Update

Join our team of seasoned attorneys as they offer valuable insight to proposed regulatory and statutory amendments that may impact your animal-related businesses or activities.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Alert to all Animal Welfare Act Licensees and Registrants Notable regulatory amendments and COVID-19-related inspection guidelines, described below, will impact Animal Welfare Act (AWA) licensees and registrants New rules, finalized in May, 2020, amended the long-standing licensing renewal procedures and added additional requirements for veterinary care and canine husbandry requirements.  As reported by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the rule affects “nearly 6,000, persons who breed, sell, or exhibit animals for commercial purposes” and, in part, to USDA registrants. The rule dismantles the annual renewal process for licensees following... More
  • The Federal Healthy Dog Importation Act Garners Wide-Ranging Support As previously reported,  the federal Health Dog Importation Act (“the Act”), introduced and sponsored by the three veterinarians in Congress Reps. Abraham, Yoho and Schrader, (Rep. Abraham is also a physician), targets and attempts to minimize threats to human and animal health from the over 1 million dogs imported into the US annually without adequate health screening.  The Act, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, published July 17, 2020, has been heralded by the National Animal Interest Alliance, American... More
  • Allegations swirl around the care of chimpanzees at Project Chimps, as reported in Animal Wildlife Watch Care provided to chimpanzees at Project Chimps, a sanctuary for chimpanzees located in Georgia, has come under fire by “[m]ore than 20 former staffers and volunteers,” as reported by Rachel Fobar in Animal Wildlife Watch on July 8, 2020.   “Wildlife watch is an investigative reporting project between National Geographic Society and National Geographic Partners.” In 2015, NIH announced that it would retire the 50 NIH-owned chimpanzees that were then available for research, send them to sanctuaries and would also phase out... More
  • The essential role of animal studies in expediating medical research to battle the COVID-19 pandemic Animal studies have and will continue to serve an essential role in medical development and public and animal health. This stays true for the current global efforts to find treatments and vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Animal studies are not only critical for understanding pathogenesis of COVID-19, but also required to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a drug or vaccine at preventing COVID-19. The importance of animal studies is exemplified by several works... More
  • How Covid-19 Has Gotten More Animal Owners To Consider Creating Pet Trusts The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) has sparked an interest in people all over the world to make sure their affairs are in order in case of sudden death or incapacitation. Many pet owners consider their pets as part of their families, so it naturally follows that they would also want to ensure their pets will be cared for even when they no longer can provide that care. Creation of a pet trust will allow pet owners to... More
  • New Rule Published Governing Practice of Veterinary Medicine in New Jersey Administrative Order and Notice of Rule Adoption Pursuant To P.L. 2020, C. 18, dated June 18, 2020, was just sent to all veterinary licensees from the Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. The Rule sets forth provisions to be implemented by veterinarians in their practices to minimize exposure to and spread of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) amongst veterinary staff and clients.  The Rule is effective immediately and will expire “concurrent with the end of the state of emergency or the... More
  • Protecting Animals and People from Potentially Infected Dogs Imported into the U.S. As reported by the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), bill – H.R.6921 (the Healthy Dog Importation Act) – has been introduced in Congress that would require proper health screening of dogs imported into the United States.  Such oversight is desperately needed to ensure that the one million plus dogs imported into this country are free from infectious diseases that, if unchecked, could spread to other animals and humans. In addition to NAIA’s work on this bill, the American Veterinary Medical Association... More
  • A Cautionary Tale About COVID-19 and Animals We have heard conflicting reports about the potential spread of COVID-19 to and from people and animals, and between animals. Many government and industry officials have stated that there is no evidence that dogs and cats can transmit the virus to humans. Yet, as discussed by veterinary pathologists in a recent paper, the “absence of evidence [of zoonotic, reverse zoonotic, or inter/intra species COVID transmission] is not the same thing as evidence of absence.” See “A Critical Needs Assessment for... More
  • Part 2: What can employers in the agricultural industry do to protect their employees from COVID-19 and prevent strikes? In Part 1 of this blog, we discussed the new interim guidance for meat processing plants.  To combat concerns of a devastating reduction in our food supply chain, President Trump issued an Executive Order requiring processing plants to stay open.  Despite that order, some employees at these processing plants have expressed an intent not to return to work.  So, what options do employers have if their workers refuse to work? First, as the interim guidelines suggest, employers should follow the guidance... More
  • Part 1: What can meat processing facilities do to protect their essential employees from COVID-19 and comply with federal and state guidelines. Workers in essential industries are increasingly concerned about their health and safety in the workplace. This is most clearly evidenced by the recent strikes, or threats of strikes, by employees at large manufacturing and distribution centers. Further, meat processing plants are reporting an increasing number of employees contracting COVID-19, requiring these plants to shut down or consider shutting down. Agricultural workers have been deemed essential by every state. These employees are essential to maintaining the health and welfare of the... More