The Animal Welfare Act :

For nearly 50 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has enforced the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to protect certain animals from inhumane treatment and neglect. Congress passed the AWA in 1966 and strengthened the law through amendments in 1970, 1976, 1985, 1990, 2002, 2007, and 2008. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) administers the AWA, its standards and regulations.

For a full listing of the sections of this act: click below ( beware, kind of dry stuff):



Animal Welfare Act Contingency Plan Final Rule

Last Modified: Aug 24, 2016

Animal Welfare Act Contingency Regulation:  APHIS published a final rule requiring all dealers, exhibitors, intermediate handlers, carriers, research facilities and other entities regulated by the Agency under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to take additional steps to be better prepared for potential disaster situations. 

They are required to develop a plan for how they are going to respond to and recover from emergencies most likely to happen to their facility, as well as train their employees on those plans.  These emergency plans are also referred to as “contingency plans.”

The goal of this rule is to increase the regulated community’s awareness and understanding about their responsibilities to protect their animals in emergency situations.  Developing contingency plans could potentially save the lives of their animals – and their employees – during an emergency or natural disaster.  It will also allow each USDA licensee and registrant to evaluate their preparedness and to more fully understand how they can better survive a disaster or emergency situation.

Planning ahead for emergency situations remains an important tool to help facilities weather disasters and emergencies. A good first step is to contact local and state emergency management agencies to work through animal needs and resources important to each facility.

What is quite clear here is that as much as any government agencies and rescue organizations attempt to prepare, when the emergency happens, its best to rely as much on yourself as possible.  

Take the time, think about where you would go and how you would get there.

How will you get everyone out of the house and to safety?

Of course, we hope you never need to use this info; but just in case.........