USDA Inspections


APHIS’ Animal Care program enforces the AWA primarily through inspections of regulated facilities. To ensure that compliance with the AWA is continually maintained, all facilities that keep animals regulated under the Act must be licensed or registered with APHIS. APHIS officials—veterinarians or qualified animal care inspectors employed by APHIS and trained to identify potential violations of the AWA and its regulations—conduct unannounced inspections of every licensed or registered facility in the country. APHIS inspectors receive special training in the proper care of marine mammals, exotic animals, and animals used in research. Inspectors also receive extensive training in how to conduct inspections at airport terminals, zoos, and commercial animal breeding facilities, among others. (Source: Compliance Inspections Fact Sheet--APHIS 41-05-012)