It is vital that everyone caring for animals is prepared when disaster strikes—including businesses with animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has long-delayed a requirement for facilities and institutions regulated by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—such as commercial animal breeders (puppy mills), zoos and research labs—to create detailed response plans for protecting animals in their care. Though finalized in 2012, the USDA has postponed implementation of a disaster planning requirement for nearly 8 years. The agency’s delay keeps animals at risk.

Without a federal requirement for disaster planning, animals in institutional settings around the country remain vulnerable. Natural disasters are on the rise and this requirement is needed now more than ever.

Fortunately, progress for animals in disaster situations is now on the horizon. Thanks to advocacy by the ASPCA and animal advocates around the country, the USDA is finally proposing to implement this requirement. We are telling the USDA to move forward and ensure that operators of puppy mills, zoos and research labs have plans in place to care for animals when disaster strikes.

What You Can Do

Please use the form below to submit a comment to the USDA today and let them know that you support this vital disaster planning requirement.