No More Monkeying Around: Getting Real About Animal Welfare

If you have a pet or are just a self-proclaimed animal lover who purposefully takes the route past the dog park (you know who you are), you know how important it is that we make the world a better place for all animals. That’s where World Animal Day comes in. Celebrated annually on October 4, this recognition day is meant “to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe.” No more monkeying around! It’s time to get real about animal welfare.

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was passed by Congress in 1966. It sets general standards for humane care and treatment that must be provided for certain animals that are bred for commercial sale, sold sight unseen (on the Internet), exhibited to the public, used in biomedical research, or transported commercially.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has published the Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Regulations, also known as the “Blue Book,” as a tool to improve compliance among those responsible for the care and handling of animals, including farmers, and to enhance the consistency of inspections by field inspectors. The Blue Book consolidates the AWA and applicable regulations and standards into one source.

The book walks readers through specifications for the human handling, care, treatment and transportation of any animal you may be working with – dogs, cats, guinea pigs and hamsters, marine mammals, rabbits and more. Exact details for heating, cooling, sanitation, ventilation, lighting and space required for animals are all included. Just like us, animals need exercise! The law calls for dealers, exhibitors, and research facilities to develop, document, and follow an appropriate plan for animals to exercise. The AWA also requires adequate veterinary care. You may particularly be interested in the laws for research facilities, including personnel qualifications, and mandated recordkeeping and annual reports. These are all laid out in the book.

Animals offer so much joy to our lives as humans. Just the violent wag of a dog’s tail can put a smile on my face. Seeing a dolphin’s fin bob above the waves makes my heart leap with excitement. And hearing birds chirp in the morning is music to my ears. It’s vital that we keep the animals we love so much healthy, happy and safe. So check out this publication today at the GPO Bookstore. And whether you’re running the trails or cuddling on the couch, do it with your favorite furry friend this World Animal Day!

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications


Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at

About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.

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