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US - Marine Mammals - Petition to Designate the Sakhalin Bay-Amur River Stock of Beluga Whales under the MMPA Under § 1383 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), 16 U.S.C. § 1361 et seq., the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Cetacean Society International, and Earth Island Institute hereby petition the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, through the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), to designate Sakhalin Bay-Amur River beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in the Sea of Okhotsk as a “depleted” stock. As described herein, the best scientific information available indicates that these beluga whales constitute a stock that is well below its optimum sustainable population (OSP) and, under the MMPA, qualify for such designation. The evidence also suggests that the stock continues to decline and faces a number of risk factors, providing additional impetus for such designation.
US - Marine Mammals - Feeding Populations of Marine Mammals in the Wild


NMFS is issuing a final rule that amends the definition of "take" under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to include feeding marine mammals in the wild, and adds a new definition of "feeding." As a result, feeding dolphins, porpoise, whales, seals and sea lions in the wild will be prohibited unless the feeding is incidental to another activity such as the routine discard of fish bycatch or discharges from processing plants or vessels.

US - Marine Mammals - Endangered Fish and Wildlife; Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement


NMFS will be preparing an EIS to analyze the potential impacts of applying new criteria in guidelines to determine what constitutes a ``take'' of a marine mammal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a result of exposure to anthropogenic noise in the marine environment. This notice describes the proposed action and possible alternatives and also describes the proposed scoping process.

US - Marine Mammals - 50 CFR Part 216. Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing NMFS issues a final rule to implement provisions of the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (IDCPA). This rule replaces the interim rule published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2000. This final rule makes technical changes and clarifications to the interim final rule which is already in effect. The interim final rule allows the entry of yellowfin tuna into the United States under certain conditions from nations fully complying with the International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP) and the Agreement on the IDCP. The interim final rule establishes a standard for the use of "dolphin-safe" labels for tuna products and also establishes a tuna-tracking and verification program to ensure that the dolphin-safe status of tuna domestically produced and imported into the United States is documented.
US - Marine Mammal Protection Act - Table of Contents


The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) is the main regulatory vehicle that protects marine mammal species and their habitats in an effort to main sustainable populations. In doing so, the statute outlines prohibitions, required permits, criminal and civil penalties, and international aspects in addressing marine mammals.  This document provides a table of contents for the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) with links to the specific statutory sections.

US - Livestock - Water Availability for Livestock at Slaughter Establishments


On September 12, 1980, the Food Safety and Quality Service requested information on the humane watering needs of livestock. The action was taken in response to industry petitions that questioned a departmental regulation that requires water to be available for animals in holding pens at slaughter establishments.  The Agency has determined that the regulations requiring that water be available is holding pens will remain in effect, but notes that compliance with the regulations will not necessarily impose burdensome costs on the industry.

US - Livestock - To Promulgate Additional Regulations Implementing the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act to Prevent Incidents of Inhumane Handling and the Needless Suffering of Animals at Slaughter Petitioner requests that the Secretary amend Humane Methods of Slaughter Act regulations to require all slaughter establishments take a systematic approach to animal welfare by preparing and maintaining a comprehensive, written humane handling plan, and make other changes that are needed to prevent unnecessary incidents of inhumane handling at slaughter. These amendments include requiring routine testing and maintenance of stunning equipment, the availability of backup stunning devices, and employee training in animal handling. The purpose of the requested action is to protect the welfare of animals during the slaughter process and to provide safer and better working conditions for persons engaged in the slaughter industry. Read the regulation the petitioner sought to amend.
US - Livestock - To Amend Labeling Regulations under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) submits this petition for rulemaking in compliance with United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulation 9 C.F.R. § 392 and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq. AWI respectfully requests USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to amend labeling regulations under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) to require independent third-party certification for the approval of animal welfare and environmental stewardship claims on meat and poultry products. This action is necessary to 1) prevent the misleading and deceptive use of animal welfare and environmental stewardship claims, 2) provide for consistency and transparency in the label approval process, 3) meet consumer expectations for the label approval process, and 4) protect from financial harm those farmers making legitimate use of these value-added claims. Read the Federal Meat Inspection Act regulation in effect at the time the AWI petitioned.
US - Livestock - Petition To Amend the Inspection and Handling of Livestock for Exportation Regulations to Include Fitness for Transport Requirements This petition is submitted on behalf of the Animal Welfare Institute (“AWI”) and the United States office of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (“WSPA”) and requests that the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (“APHIS”), initiate rulemaking to amend the “exportation of animals” regulations by adopting the animal welfare standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health (“OIE”) for the transport of animals. Read the regulations this petition challenges.
US - Livestock - Humane Handling and Treatment of Livestock; Solicitation of Information


The Food Safety and Quality Service is seeking information from all interested members of the public on the need for modification of certain provisions relating to the humane handling of livestock contained in the Federal meat inspection regulations. The Agency has been requested to allow the withholding of water from cattle for a period of time not in excess of 24 hours when such withholding is specified in the sales contract. The Agency has also been requested to allow the withholding of water from animals which are to be slaughtered within 24 hours from the time they arrive at the slaughter establishment.

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