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S. 503 (115th): Animal Welfare Accountability and Transparency Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 2, 2017.

Animal Welfare Accountability and Transparency Act

This bill requires the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to maintain and publicly disclose records relating to the administration of the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act, including specified details regarding inspections, enforcement actions, regulations, registrations, and licenses under the two laws. Within 90 days of the enactment of this bill, USDA must make the records available to the public in an online searchable database in a machine-readable format on its website.

The bill also amends the Internal Revenue Code to require a taxpayer who has been convicted or assessed civil penalties for violating certain provisions of the Animal Welfare Act or the Horse Protection Act to use the alternative depreciation system that increases the number of years over which property is depreciated. The taxpayer must use the system for any property placed in service during the five-year period beginning with the year in which the period for seeking judicial review of a civil penalty has lapsed or in which there has been a final judgment entered with respect to the violation, whichever is earlier.