There were three main purposes for the proposed law in 1966: to protect the owners of pet dogs and cats from the theft of their pets; to prevent the use or sale of stolen dogs or cats for purposes of research or experimentation; and to establish humane standards for the treatment of dogs, cats, and certain other animals by animal dealers and research facilities.
The managers on the part of the House at the conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses to amendment of the Senate to the bill (H.R. 13881) to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate the transportation, sale, and handling of dogs and cats intended to be used for purposes of research or experimentation, and for other purposes, submit the following statement in explanation of the effect of the action agreed upon the recommended in the accompanying conference report.
The amendment of the Senate struck out all after the enacting clause of the House bill and substituted language which generally followed the structure of the House bill but was different in numerous substantial respects.
We have diligently tried to bring back to the House an effective bill which will codify the noblest and most compassionate concern that the human heart holds for those small animals whose very existence is dedicated to the advancement of medical skill and knowledge while at the same time still preserving for the medical and research professions an unfettered opportunity to carry forward their vital work in behalf of all mankind.
The House bill and the Senate amendment were similar in objective yet different in detail. The conferees have attempted to select the best and most practicable provisions of each version and have combined and modified them in an effort to produce workable and meaningful legislation.
The conferees are aware of course that this bill, which was originated and developed by this Congress, creates a new responsibility for the Department of Agriculture.
In anticipation of future questions and problems about the new program, the conferees herewith submit an explanation and interpretation of this legislation which is designed to foresee some of these questions and problems. Yet the conferees recognized that no one possesses completely accurate forward vision and in that spirit we will continue to seek the advice and counsel of all those who share an interest in this program. This includes not only the medical and research professions, the various animal welfare groups, and the Department of Agriculture, but also the many thousands of Americans throughout the nation whose conscience and concern have led to the enactment of this legislation.
The conference substitute contains the following major provisions:
SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS
Section 1.– This section sets forth the objectives of the bill which are (a) to protect owners of dogs and cats from the theft of such pets; (b) to regulate the handling, care, and treatment of dogs, cats, and certain other animals destined for use in research or experimentation; and (c) to regulate the handling, care, and treatment of dogs, cats, and certain other animals in research facilities. Section 1 is identical to section 1 of the Senate amendment and is comparable to section 1 of the House bill.
Section 2.– This section contains definitions of eight terms used in the bill:
(a) The term “person” is limited to various private forms of business organizations. It is, however, intended to include nonprofit or charitable institutions which handle dogs and cats. It is not intended to include public agencies or political subdivisions of State or municipal governments or their duly authorized agents. It is the intent of the conferees that local or municipal dog pounds or animal shelters shall not be required to obtain a license since these public agencies are not a “person” within the meaning of section 2(a). Accordingly, research facilities would not (under sec. 3) be prohibited from purchasing or acquiring dogs and cats from city dog pounds or similar institutions or their duly authorized agents because these institutions are not “persons” within the meaning of section 2(a). Section 2(a) is identical to section 2(a) of the House bill which is broader is scope than the comparable provision in section 2(a) of the Senate amendment.
(b) The Term “Secretary” means the Secretary of agriculture. This provision was identical in both section 2(b) of the House bill and section 2(b) of the Senate amendment.
(c) The term “commerce” is defined as interstate commerce (1) between the several States, territories, possessions, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; or (2) between points within the same State, territory, possession, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, but through any point outside of there; or (3) within any territory or possession or the District of Columbia. Section 2(c) is identical to section 2(c) of the Senate amendment which was substantially the same as section 2(c) of the House bill.
(d) The term “cat is limited to a live cat of the species Felis catus. Section 2(d) is identical to section 2 (e) of the Senate amendment.
(e) The term “dog” is limited to a live dog of the species Canis familiaris. Section 2(e) is identical to section 2 (d) of the Senate amendment. The conference substitute includes the Senate definitions of “dog” and “cat” which are broader than the House bill which was confined to dogs or cats used or intended for use in research or experimentation.
(f) The term “research facility” means any school, institution, organization, or person (as defined in sec. 2(a) that uses or intends to use dogs or cats for research or experimental purposes and that (1) purchases or transports dogs or cats in commerce (as defined in sec. 2(c)), or (2) receives any funds from a U.S. Government department, agency, or instrumentality for the purposes of carrying out research, tests, or experiments.
By adopting the definition of research facility in section 2(f), the conferees’ intention is to limit the coverage of this legislation to major research facilities and exclude the thousands of hospitals, clinics, and schools which don’t use dogs or cats for research and tests. However, if an institution meets the definition of “research facility,” it is subject to regulations in regard to all animals defined in section 2(h). This section 2(f) is identical to section 2 (f) of the Senate amendment. A similar provision is included in section 2(f) of the House bill.
(g) The term “dealer” means any person (as defined in sec. 2(a)) who for profit or compensation delivers for transportation, transports (except as a common carrier), buys or sells dogs or cats in commerce (as defined in sec. 2(c)) for research purposes.
The definition of dealer is not intended to exclude from licensing or regulation those nonprofit or charitable institutions or animal shelters which supply animals in commerce to research facilities for compensation of their out-of-pocket expenses.
Except for the specific exemption provided in section 3, the term “dealer” would apply to any individual or other person who raises dogs or cats for sale in commerce to any dealer or research facility. Section 2(g) is similar to section 2(g) of the House bill and differs substantially from section 2(g) of the Senate amendment.
(h) The term “animal” is limited to live dogs and cats (defined in secs. 2(d) and (e)), monkeys (nonhuman primate mammals), guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits. Section 2(h) is similar to section 2(h) of the Senate amendment. The Latin names for the latter three animals were deleted to avoid confusion. There is no comparable provision in the House bill.
Section 3.– This section sets forth the requirements and procedures for issuing licenses to dealers. A separate provision is included in the last sentence to allow persons who do not, for one reason or another, qualify
as dealers (as defined in sect. 2(g)) to obtain a license. This allows persons who would otherwise be prohibited from selling to dealers or research facilities to obtain a license voluntarily and thus continue to provide dogs and cats for research and experimental use.
In addition, a person who derives less than a substantial portion of his income from the breeding and raising of dogs or cats on his own premises would be exempt from being licensed as a dealer under this legislation. This provision was adopted by the conference to allow farmers and other owners of relatively small numbers of dogs or cats to continue to sell their own animals to dealers or research facilities without obtaining a license. Conversely, research facilities and dealers would not be prohibited from purchasing dogs or cats from persons exempted under this section. The term “substantial portion of his income” as used in this provision is subject to the determination of the Secretary. The conferees do not contemplate the licensing of farmers or pet owners who sell only an occasional litter of puppies or kittens or only a few dogs or cats to a dealer or to a research facility. The specific requirement that these exempted persons breed dogs or cats on their own premises is intended to prevent their selling to dealers for research purposes animals which were stolen or otherwise obtained for that purpose. Section 3 is similar to section 6 of the House bill. Comparable provisions were not included in the Senate amendment.
Section 4.– This section prohibits dealers from conducting any dog or cat business with research facilities or with other dealers without holding a valid license. Section 4 is identical to section 4 of the House bill and is comparable to section 4 of the Senate amendment.
Section 5.– This section prohibits dealers from selling or otherwise disposing of any dog or cat within 5 business days after the acquisition of such animals or within such other period as the Secretary may specify in regulations issued pursuant to this legislation. The purpose of the waiting period is to give owners, law-enforcement officers, and the Secretary a greater opportunity to trace lost or stolen dogs and cats. It is the intent of the conferees that section 5 by construed with section 21 of the conference substitute as granting the Secretary authority to deal with the problem of dogs and cats in transit. Section 5 is identical to section 10 of the House bill. The comparable provision of the Senate amendment is section 14.
Section 6.– This section requires research facilities (as defined in sec. 2(f) to register with the Secretary of Agriculture. Research facilities will not be licensed under this legislation. Section 6 is identical to section 6 of the Senate amendment. There is no comparable House provision.
Section 7.– This section provides that as a general rule, research facilities are prohibited from buying cats and dogs from persons who do not hold valid licenses as dealers. However, an exception to this rule has been made by the conferees in section 3 of the conference substitute.
Section 3 of the House bill would have prohibited research facilities from purchasing dogs or cats from any person, except a person holding a valid license as a dealer. Section 3 of the Senate amendment would have prohibited a research facility from purchasing dogs or cats from dealers unless the dealer held a valid license.
In conformance with section 2(a) of the conference substitute, the conferees have rewritten this section 7 in order to require research facilities to purchase dogs and cats only from (1) persons who hold valid licenses as dealers or (2) persons exempted under section 3 of the conference substitute or (3) sources that do not come within the definition of “persons” set forth in section 2(a).
The conferees contemplate, therefore, that research facilities which rely on farm sources, municipal dog and cat pounds, and the duly authorized agents of such local governments for their dogs and cats will continue to be able to obtain such animals from these sources.
Section 8.– This section extends to department, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Federal government a similar prohibition on dog or cat acquisitions as applies to research facilities under section 7, section 8 as modified is similar to section 5 of the Senate amendment. There is no comparable House provision.
Section 9.– This section establishes the principal-agent relationship between dealers, research facilities and their employees. Except for an internal section reference, section 9 is identical to section 13 of the House bill and is substantially the same as section 21 of the Senate amendment.
Section 10.– This section requires record-keeping by dealers and research facilities with regard to the purchase, sale, transportation, identification and previous ownership of dogs and cats. The Secretary is directed to provide the proper forms for this record-keeping and these records are to be made available to the Secretary for inspection by him or any Federal officer or employee which the Secretary may designate. The conferees do not contemplate the designation of private citizens for non-Federal Government employees in the administration of this legislation. The conference substitute also makes it clear that records need not be specific provisions in regard to the monkeys, guinea pigs, hamsters, or rabbits, section 10 is identical to section 10 of the Senate amendment. Section 8 of the House bill contains a similar provision.
Section 11.– This section requires all cats and dogs covered by this bill to be marked or identified in a humane manner. The methods, type, and time of marking or identification are to be prescribed by the Secretary. The purpose of such marking and identification are to be prescribed by the Secretary. The purpose of such marking and identification is intended as a means of tracing lost or stolen pets. Except for the inclusion of the words “at such time and,” section 11 is identical to section 9 of the Senate amendment. The comparable House provision is section 7 of the House bill.
Section 12.– This section authorizes the Secretary to establish and enforce record-keeping requirements and humane standards for the purchase, sale, or handling (which includes treatment, housing, and care of dogs or cats) by dealers or research facilities at auction sales. This section is not intended to prohibit auction sales. On the contrary, the conferees feel that auction sales should be continued and that these public sales present an opportunity for the Secretary to effectively meet the objectives of this legislation as set forth in section 1. Section 12 is a modification of section 16 of the Senate amendment. There is no comparable provision in the House bill.
Section 13.– This section requires that the Secretary establish standards to govern the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of animals (as defined in sec. 2(h)) by dealers and research facilities. Standards for the eight categories listed in this section are mandatory, and the Secretary is not given additional discretionary authority as was proposed in the Senate amendment. The intent of the conferees is clearly set forth in the last sentence of this section which states that the Secretary is not authorized to prescribe standards for the handling, care, or treatment of animals during actual research or experimentation by a research facility. It is the intention of the conferees that the Secretary neither directly nor indirectly in any manner interfere with or harass research facilities during the conduct of actual research and experimentation. The important determination of when an animal is in actual research so as to be exempt from regulations under the bill is left to the research facility itself. Research or experimentation is also intended to include use of animals as teaching aids in educational institutions. Except as indicated above, section 13 is identical to section 7 of the Senate amendment. Section 5 of the House bill authorized the Secretary to set humane standards for the handling of dogs and cats by dealers. It also contained a similar prohibition against any interference with research and experimentation.
Section 14.– This section requires Federal departments, agencies, or instrumentalities having laboratory facilities to meet the same standards for the humane handling, care, and treatment of animals (as defined in sec. 2(h) as are required of research facilities under section 13 of the conference substitute. Section 14 is identical to section 8 of the Senate amendment. No comparable provision is included in the House bill.
Section 15.(a)– This section directs the Secretary to consult with other Federal departments, agencies, or instrumentalities concerned with the welfare of animals used for research or experimentation when establishing standards of care and treatment. The conferees recognize that other Federal departments have already developed experience in laboratory animal care and his experience should be made available to the Secretary. In addition, continued cooperation with other departments and agencies is directed.
(b) This section authorizes the Secretary to cooperate with State and local officials in preventing the theft of dogs and cats, in the apprehension of suspected dog and cat thieves, and in carrying out the other provisions of this legislation.
Except for an internal section reference, section 15(a) is identical with section 13(a) of the Senate amendment. Section 15(b) is identical to section 9 of the House bill.
Section 16.– This section directs the Secretary to make such investigations or inspections as he deems necessary to effectuate the purpose of the bill and insure compliance with the bill or any regulation issued thereunder. The conferees contemplate that these inspectors will be employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The second sentence is intended to permit the Secretary to insure that animals suffering because of inhumane treatment are not left unattended. It is the intent of the conferees that inspectors not be permitted to interfere with the carrying out of actual research or experimentation as determined by a research facility. Section 16 is essentially the same as section 12 of the Senate amendment except for changing the word “person” to “dealer or research facility” for clarification. No comparable provision is included in the House bill.
Section 17.– This section directs the Secretary to establish rules and regulations which would require licensed dealers and research facilities to permit inspection of their animals and records by legally constituted law enforcement agencies. The purpose of this section is to expedite the search for stolen pets. It is the intent of the conferees that inspection under this section be specifically limited to searches for lost and stolen pets by officers of the law (not owners themselves) and that legally constituted law enforcement agencies means agencies with general law enforcement authority and not those agencies whose law enforcement duties are limited to enforcing local animal regulations. It is not intended that this section be used by private citizens or law enforcement officers to harass research facilities. Such officers cannot inspect the animals when the animals are undergoing actual research or experimentation. This is almost identical with section 15 of the Senate amendment. Similar provision dealing with the inspection of records was included in section 8 of the House bill.
Section 18.– This section provides that nothing in the legislation is to be construed as authorizing the Secretary to regulate the handling, care, treatment, or inspection of animals which are undergoing actual research or experimentation. The determination of when research begins and ends is to be made by the research facility. It is the intent of the conferees that section 18 be construed to apply throughout this legislation, and particularly with regard to section 17. This section is the same as section 17(a) of the Senate amendment. A comparable provision was included in section 5 of the House bill which prohibited the establishment of humane standards at any time subsequent to the arrival of dogs or cats at a research facility.
Section 19.– This section deals with penalties which are applicable to dealers. Whenever the Secretary has reason to believe that any person licensed as a dealer has violated or is violating any provision of this legislation or any regulation established thereunder, he may (1) suspend that person’s license for up to 21 days; (2) after notice and opportunity for hearing and a finding that violation has occurred, suspend the license for an additional period or revoke it; and (3) issue a cease-and-desist order to prevent continuing the violation.
Any dealer who is convicted of a violation of any provision of this legislation would be subject to imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.
Any dealer aggrieved by a final order of the Secretary may, within 60 days after entry of such order, seek review in the manner provided in section 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act.
This section is a combination of sections 12, 14, and 15 of the House bill and sections 18 and 19 of the Senate amendment.
Section 20.– This section deals with penalties which are applicable to research facilities. Whenever the Secretary has reason to believe that any research facility has violated or is violating any provision of this legislation or any regulation established thereunder and it, after notice and opportunity for hearing, he finds a violation (1) he may issue a cease-and-desist order; (2) if the research facility knowingly fails to obey this cease-and-desist order, it shall be subject to a civil penalty of $500 for each offense, and each day such failure continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
Any research facility aggrieved by a final order of the Secretary may, within 60 days after entry of such order, seek review in the manner provided in section 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act.
This section is a combination of the House bill and the Senate amendment. It appeared in sections 12, 14, and 15 of the House bill and sections 19 and 20 of the Senate amendment.
Section 21.– This section authorizes the Secretary to promulgate such rules, regulations, orders, and other administrative details as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this legislation. As earlier noted, this section is intended to be construed with section 5. This section is identical to section 11 of the House bill and appeared in section 17(b) of the Senate amendment.
Section 22.– This section carries a constitutional invalidity clause which states that if any part of this legislation, or individual circumstances concerning it, are held invalid, the remainder remains effective. This section is identical to both section 16 of the House bill and section 22 of the Senate amendment.
Section 23.– This section directs the Secretary to charge, assess, and collect reasonable fees for licenses issued to dealers and research facilities. These fees should be adjusted equitably, taking into consideration the type and nature of the operation to be licensed and shall be deposited and covered into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts. Any additional funds which might be needed to administer this legislation are authorized to be appropriated by the Congress from time to time. This section is a modified version of section 17 of the House bill and section 23 of the Senate amendment.
Section 24.– This section specifies that the Secretary shall promulgate the regulations referred to in sections 10 and 13 as soon as reasonable but not later than 6 months from the date of enactment of this legislation. Compliance by dealers with this legislation is required 90 days following promulgation of regulations by the Secretary. Compliance by research facilities is required 6 months after promulgation of regulations by the Secretary. However, in the case of research facilities, the Secretary may grant individual extensions of time to certain research facilities if he is convinced that these research facilities will be able to meet the regulations within a reasonable time. The purpose for this extension of time for compliance by research facilities is to enable those research facilities whose compliance depends upon obtaining additional funds for construction
or personnel to secure such funds. Except for internal references, this section is identical to that of section 24 of the Senate amendment. A comparable provision was included in the House bill as section 18.
Harold d. Cooley
W. R. Poage
Joseph Y. Resnick
Albert H. Quie
Managers on the Part of the House