USDA Says Animal Facilities Must Have Disaster Plans

Monday, December 31, 2012 - 12:00pm
ASPCA Responders carrying crate

Guest blog by Deborah Dubow Press, Regulatory Affairs Manager, ASPCA Government Relations

The ASPCA believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The more prepared animal facilities are for emergencies, the better responders, like the ASPCA, can stretch our resources and focus our relief efforts when disaster strikes.

That’s why today we applaud the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new regulation requiring all facilities licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act—this includes breeders, zoos, research facilities, dealers, and other exhibitors and intermediate handlers—to prepare emergency plans for protecting and caring for animals during disaster.

While the ASPCA will always provide zealous and expert response to imperiled animals, we believe that animal-related businesses should be prepared to protect their animals in emergency situations. Given the tireless efforts of the ASPCA’s FIR Team and other first responders, mandatory emergency planning is a small thing to ask and a reasonable cost of doing business. 

We are hopeful that this new regulation will prevent animals from being harmed during man-made and natural disasters alike. To learn about establishing an emergency plan for your own pets, please visit our Disaster Preparedness page.