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COMMENT OPPORTUNITY: Proposed animal welfare regulation for birds

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This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council.

Ornithologists have an opportunity comment on the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service long-awaited proposal to amend the Animal Welfare Act regulations and establish new standards governing the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of birds not bred for use in research.

You can read more about the context of this regulation and previous agency actions here and read the comments that the Ornithological Council submitted during a public hearing on the proposed regulation here.

The draft regulation would apply only to captive birds, per the announcement from APHIS. In addition, the announcement also makes it clear that the draft regulation would not require that field studies involving wild birds be inspected; a recent publication from APHIS helps to define ‘field studies,’ which are exempt from regulation under the AWA. The draft regulation, however, is silent as to whether and how it would apply to ornithological research done in the field that does not qualify as a field study. 

Read the draft rule and comment here. All comments on the draft rule must be received by April 25, 2022.

Read the OC's fact sheet about birds and the AWA

Have questions about commenting on this proposal? Contact the OC

About the Ornithological Council

The Ornithological Council is a consortium of scientific societies of ornithologists; these societies span the Western Hemisphere and the research conducted by their members spans the globe. Their cumulative expertise comprises the knowledge that is fundamental and essential to science-based bird conservation and management. The Ornithological Council is financially supported by our member societies and the individual ornithologists who value our work. If the OC’s resources are valuable to you, please consider joining one of our member societies or donating directly at Birdnet.org. Thank you for your support!

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