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This Just In: USDA APHIS Releases COVID-19 FAQ

USDA APHIS has developed a list of frequently asked questions about agency services and business continuity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FAQ includes answers to the following questions:

Q: Is APHIS still conducting Animal Welfare Act inspections?

A: APHIS is continuing to conduct regular inspections where local area and individual premises conditions allow our inspectors to maintain social distancing norms. APHIS will always place the highest priority on investigating reports of extreme Animal Welfare Act violations that could lead to the confiscation of animals. However, if a State or locality has issued a shelter-in-place order like San Francisco, inspectors will honor that order and not conduct inspections in that area at this time.

Q: Will APHIS continue to ensure compliance of facilities handling select agents to ensure proper storage and maintenance?

A: At this time, APHIS’ Agriculture Select Agent Services (AgSAS) will not be conducting routine inspections. We do have the ability to extend registration validity to ensure that all facilities are authorized to possess, use or transfer select agents. Should a compliance issue arise, we have the ability to conduct the necessary follow up, including an inspection.

The full list of FAQs is available on the USDA’s Coronavirus Website. 

March 23, 2020, 11:51 AM CT

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