Full Statute Name:  US Public Law 101-624 (AWA 1990)

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Primary Citation:  1990 PL 101-624 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  February, 2020 Alternate Citation:  104 Stat 3359 Date Adopted:  1990 Historical: 
Summary: Enacted November 28, 1990, this public law amends the Animal Welfare Act by establishing holding period for dogs and cats at shelters and other holding facilities before sale to dealers. It requires dealers to provide written certification regarding each animal's background to the recipient. Specific items included on the certificate are mechanisms of enforcement, injunctions, and penalties for violation.


The Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) is amended—

<< 7 USCA § 2146 >>

(1) in section 16(c), (7 U.S.C. 2146) by inserting after “Act” the first place it appears the following: “and the regulations and standards promulgated under this Act”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following new section:

<< 7 USCA § 2158 >>



“(1) REQUIREMENT.—In the case of each dog or cat acquired by an entity described in paragraph (2), such entity shall hold and care for such dog or cat for a period of not less than five days to enable such dog or cat to be recovered by its original owner or adopted by other individuals before such entity sells such dog or cat to a dealer.

“(2) ENTITIES DESCRIBED.—An entity subject to paragraph (1) is—

“(A) each State, county, or city owned and operated pound or shelter;

“(B) each private entity established for the purpose of caring for animals, such as a humane society, or other organization that is under contract with a State, county, or city that operates as a pound or shelter and that releases animals on a voluntary basis; and

“(C) each research facility licensed by the Department of Agriculture.


“(1) IN GENERAL.—A dealer may not sell, provide, or make available to any individual or entity a random source dog or cat unless such dealer provides the recipient with a valid certification that meets the requirements of paragraph (2) and indicates compliance with subsection (a).

“(2) REQUIREMENTS.—A valid certification shall contain—

“(A) the name, address, and Department of Agriculture license or registration number (if such number exists) of the dealer;

“(B) the name, address, Department of Agriculture, license or registration number (if such number exists), and the signature of the recipient of the dog or cat;

“(C) a description of the dog or cat being provided that shall include—

“(i) the species and breed or type of such;

“(ii) the sex of such;

“(iii) the date of birth (if known) of such;

“(iv) the color and any distinctive marking of such; and

“(v) any other information that the Secretary by regulation shall determine to be appropriate;

“(D) the name and address of the person, pound, or shelter from which the dog or cat was purchased or otherwise acquired by the dealer, and an assurance that such person, pound, or shelter was notified that such dog or cat may be used for research or educational purposes;

“(E) the date of the purchase or acquisition referred to in subparagraph (D);

“(F) a statement by the pound or shelter (if the dealer acquired the dog or cat from such) that it satisfied the requirements of subsection (b); and

“(G) any other information that the Secretary of Agriculture by regulation shall determine appropriate.

“(3) RECORDS.—The original certification required under paragraph (1) shall accompany the shipment of a dog or cat to be sold, provided, or otherwise made available by the dealer, and shall be kept and maintained by the research facility for a period of at least one year for enforcement purposes. The dealer shall retain one copy of the certification provided under this paragraph for a period of at least one year for enforcement purposes.

“(4) TRANSFERS.—In instances where one research facility transfers animals to another research facility a copy of the certificate must accompany such transfer.

“(5) MODIFICATION.—Certification requirements may be modified to reflect technological advances in identification techniques, such as microchip technology, if the Secretary determines that adequate information such as described in this section, will be collected, transferred, and maintained through such technology.


“(1) IN GENERAL.—Dealers who fail to act according to the requirements of this section or who include false information in the certification required under subsection (b), shall be subject to the penalties provided for under section 19.

“(2) SUBSEQUENT VIOLATIONS.—Any dealer who violates this section more than one time shall be subject to a fine of $5,000 per dog or cat acquired or sold in violation of this section.

“(3) PERMANENT REVOCATIONS.—Any dealer who violates this section three or more times shall have such dealers license permanently revoked.

“(d) REGULATION.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to carry out this section.

<< 7 USCA § 2159 >>


“(a) REQUEST.—Whenever the Secretary has reason to believe that any dealer, carrier, exhibitor, or intermediate handler is dealing in stolen animals, or is placing the health of any animal in serious danger in violation of this Act or the regulations or standards promulgated thereunder, the Secretary shall notify the Attorney General, who may apply to the United States district court in which such dealer, carrier, exhibitor, or intermediate handler resides or conducts business for a temporary restraining order or injunction to prevent any such person from operating in violation of this Act or the regulations and standards prescribed under this Act.

“(b) ISSUANCE.—The court shall, upon a proper showing, issue a temporary restraining order or injunction under subsection (a) without bond. Such injunction or order shall remain in effect until a complaint pursuant to section 19 is issued and dismissed by the Secretary or until an order to cease and desist made thereon by the Secretary has become final and effective or is set aside on appellate review. Attorneys of the Department of Agriculture may, with the approval of the Attorney General, appear in the United States district court representing the Secretary in any action brought under this section.”.


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