< Back to H.R. 4249 (104th Congress, 1995–1996)

Text of the Animal Welfare Act Amendments of 1996

This bill was introduced on September 27, 1996, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 27, 1996 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 4249 IH

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4249

To amend and strengthen the Animal Welfare Act.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 27, 1996

Mr. GUNDERSON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

To amend and strengthen the Animal Welfare Act.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Animal Welfare Act Amendments of 1996’.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    Subsection (f) of section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2132(f)) is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(f) The term ‘dealer’--

      ‘(1) means any person who, in commerce, for compensation or profit, delivers for transportation, or transports, except as a carrier, buys, offers to buy, sells, or offers for sale, leases, offers to lease, negotiates the purchase, sale, or lease of, or transfers--

        ‘(A) any animal, whether alive or dead, for research, experimentation, teaching, exhibition, or use as a pet;

        ‘(B) any dog for hunting or security purposes; or

        ‘(C) any dog or cat for breeding purposes;

      ‘(2) includes--

        ‘(A) operators of auction sales; and

        ‘(B) any person who owns or leases premises which are used for trade days or flea markets at which the activities described in this subsection are conducted; and

      ‘(3) does not include--

        ‘(A) any pound or shelter operated by or on behalf of a municipality; or

        ‘(B) any governmental entity which sells or otherwise provides animals to any dealer or research facility;’.

SEC. 3. LICENSING REQUIREMENTS.

    Section 3 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2133) is amended to read as follows:

    ‘SEC. 3. (a)(1) The Secretary shall issue licenses to dealers and exhibitors upon application therefor in such form and manner as the Secretary may prescribe and upon payment of any fee established pursuant to this Act.

    ‘(2) No license shall be issued or renewed under this Act--

      ‘(A) until the dealer or exhibitor has demonstrated compliance with the regulations and standards promulgated by the Secretary pursuant to this Act;

      ‘(B) to any person who has been convicted of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or the equivalent thereto, to a charge of violating--

        ‘(i) any treaty, Federal, State, or local law involving the care or treatment of, or recordkeeping for, animals;

        ‘(ii) the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act; or

        ‘(iii) any treaty, Federal, State, or local law for the protection of endangered or threatened species;

      ‘(C) to any person who has failed to pay a civil penalty which was previously assessed by the Secretary under this Act; or

      ‘(D) to any person whose license is suspended.

    ‘(b)(1) The Secretary may exempt persons described in paragraph (2) from licensing and other requirements under this Act, subject to such conditions as the Secretary may prescribe in regulations, if--

      ‘(A) in the judgment of the Secretary, such licensing or requirements would not tend to effectuate the policy of the Act; and

      ‘(B) the activity of the dealer or exhibitor does not involve animals used for research purposes.

    ‘(2) Persons who may be exempted from licensing and other requirements under paragraph (1) include--

      ‘(A) operators of retail pet stores (except retail pet stores which sell animals to research facilities, exhibitors, or dealers);

      ‘(B) persons who sell wild or exotic animals, with respect to such wild or exotic animals; and

      ‘(C) persons whose business activities as dealers or exhibitors are de minimis.’.

SEC. 4. PROHIBITIONS.

    Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2134) is amended to read as follows:

    ‘SEC. 4. Except as provided in subsection 3(b), no dealer or exhibitor shall sell, offer for sale, lease, offer for lease, transfer, transport, offer for transportation, acquire, buy, offer to buy, exhibit, or offer to exhibit any animal, or engage in any other business activity as a dealer or exhibitor, unless such dealer or exhibitor holds a current, unsuspended license issued by the Secretary under this Act.’.

SEC. 5. REGULATIONS REGARDING AUCTION SALES; ACQUISITIONS BY RESEARCH FACILITIES; CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

    (a) Section 12 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2142) is amended to read as follows:

    ‘SEC. 12. The Secretary may promulgate humane standards and recordkeeping and reporting requirements governing the purchase, sale, or handling of animals by dealers, research facilities, exhibitors, or persons consigning animals to auction sales.’.

    (b) Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2135) is amended by deleting ‘subject to section 12 of this Act’.

    (c) Section 19 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2149) is amended--

      (1) in the first sentence of subsection (b) by deleting ‘or, operator of an auction sale subject to section 12 of this Act,’ and inserting ‘or’ after ‘handler,’;

      (2) in the first sentence of subsection (c) by deleting ‘, or operator of an auction sale subject to section 12 of this Act,’ and inserting ‘or’ after ‘handler,’; and

      (3) in the first sentence of subsection (d) by deleting ‘, exhibitor or operator of an auction sale subject to section 12 of this Act,’ and inserting ‘or exhibitor’ after ‘dealer’.

SEC. 6. ENFORCEMENT.

    Subsection (a) of section 19 of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2149(a)) is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(a)(1) If the Secretary has reason to believe that any person licensed under this Act has violated or is violating any provision of this Act or the regulations or standards issued thereunder, the Secretary may suspend or refuse to renew such person’s license for a period of up to 120 days, except as otherwise provided by this section.

    ‘(2) When the Secretary temporarily suspends or refuses to renew a license under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall send written notice thereof to the licensee. Such notice shall specify--

      ‘(A) the nature, time, and place of the alleged violation;

      ‘(B) that the licensee may request a hearing within 10 days of the receipt of the notice;

      ‘(C) that, if, within 10 days of receipt of such notice, the licensee requests a hearing, the licensee is entitled to such hearing within 30 days of the suspension or refusal to renew; and

      ‘(D) that if the licensee does not request a hearing within 10 days of receipt of such notice, the licensee forfeits the right to a hearing within such 30-day period, and the suspension or refusal to renew shall remain in effect until an administrative law judge has issued a decision and order regarding such suspension or refusal to renew.

    ‘(3) An administrative law judge shall issue a decision and order within 30 days after the conclusion of a hearing held pursuant to this section.

    ‘(4) If, after notice and opportunity for hearing, a licensee is determined to have violated a provision of this Act or the regulations or standards issued hereunder, the Secretary may issue an order--

      ‘(A) suspending or refusing to renew such license for such additional period as the Secretary may specify; or

      ‘(B) revoking such license.

    ‘(5) An order issued under paragraph (4) shall be effective pending the final determination of the Secretary.’.

SEC. 7. INJUNCTIONS.

    Section 29(a) of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2159(a)) is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(a) REQUEST- (1) The Secretary shall notify the Attorney General whenever the Secretary has reason to believe that a dealer, exhibitor, research facility, carrier, or intermediate handler--

      ‘(A) is dealing in stolen animals;

      ‘(B) is placing the health of any animal in danger, in violation of this Act or the regulations or standards issued thereunder; or

      ‘(C) is otherwise in violation of this Act or the regulations or standards issued thereunder; and

      ‘(D) should be enjoined from operating in violation of this Act or the regulations or standards issued thereunder.

    ‘(2) After notification under paragraph (1), the Attorney General may apply to the United States district court for the district in which the violator resides or conducts business for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to prevent such violator from operating in violation of this Act or the regulations or standards prescribed under this Act.’.