Animal Welfare Information Center Newsletter, Spring 1995, Vol. 6 No. 1 *************************

APHIS-REAC News

User Fees Coming to APHIS, REAC

by
Richard Crawford, D.V.M., Animal Welfare Information Center, USDA

Ever since the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was amended in 1970 and 1976, certain types of facilities have been required to register and other facilities have been required to be licensed under the act. Registration applies to research facilities, carriers, intermediate handlers, and some exhibitors. There is no fee associated with registration. Licensing applies to dealers and exhibitors and requires that they pay the Government fees assessed on a graduated basis.

All this is about to change. As is happening with many Federal agencies, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, which includes Regulatory Enforcement and Animal Care (REAC), will soon be implementing user fees for all registrants and licensees under the AWA. At the present time user fees are expected to be implemented in fiscal year (FY) 1996, which starts October 1, 1995.

Several things must happen before this becomes a reality, however. First, Congress must pass legislation authorizing APHIS to implement user fees for this activity. Second, a schedule of user fees must be developed which considers such things as the size and type of facility or business so fees are as reasonable and equitable as possible. Third, an implementation system must be developed to assess and collect user fees.

While many questions remain to be answered before any decisions are made, REAC is busy exploring all possible options in the development of user fees. Whether user fees start in FY 1996, or later, three things are certain: (1) given the present Federal budget situation, user fees are going to be put in place for entities registered or licensed under the AWA in the near future; (2) registrants who previously paid no fees under the AWA will now be required to pay their appropriate user fee; and (3) licensees who have been paying license fees for years will most likely see an increase in the fees due. User fees will probably be adjusted up or down each year, depending on the receipts from the previous year.

When authorizing legislation is passed by Congress and the final decisions are made on user fees related to the AWA, APHIS will publicize the information in the Animal Welfare Information Center Newsletter.


This article appeared in the Animal Welfare Information Center Newsletter, Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 1995

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