U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Feral swine, an invasive species, have been a problem for years if not decades, and populations have been reported in at least 35 states with a total population “estimated at over 6 million,” as noted by USDA. At least one swine herd was reported in New Jersey while I was serving as the State

While the world is still focused on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic, US animal health officials and poultry producers have been monitoring and taking action to prevent the spread of another highly pathogenic virus-Avian Influenza-from entering the country.  As reported on the website of the Office of Epizooties (the World Organization for Animal

In a 6-3 decision, SCOTUS rejected the “substantial competitive harm” test, as applied to FOIA’s Exemption 4, established by the D. C. Circuit in National Parks & Conservation Assn. v. Morton, 498 F. 2d 765, 767 (D.C. Cir. 1974) (“the National Parks test”) and adopted by many other appellate courts since that time.  See

On October 30, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “announced the Plant and Animal Biotechnology Innovation Action Plan to outline the key priorities the agency will pursue to support innovation in plant and animal biotechnology while advancing the agency’s public health mission. The overall goal of the action plan is to ensure the safety

Some happenings at USDA and FDA that may impact your business are noteworthy.

On November 16, 2018 FDA released for public comment “proposed research to validate an alternative approach for bioequivalence studies for certain animal drugs.”

Bioequivalence studies are required before drugs are approved by FDA (for humans or animals) as safe and efficacious.

The

A virulent form of Newcastle disease (vND), “a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds and poultry,” as described on USDA’s Virulent Newcastle Disease webpage has been confirmed in 93 cases in backyard exhibition chickens and turkeys by USDA since May 18, 2018.

The last outbreak of vND

On June 4, the regulation titled “Thresholds for De Minimis Activity and Exemptions From Licensing Under the Animal Welfare Act” which purportedly implement[s] amendments to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), was published by USDA-APHIS, effective on the date of publication.

The regulation expands some exemptions to the licensing requirements pursuant to the

On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Las Vegas City Council voted to enact “Bill No. 2017-40 – which repeals a formerly adopted ordinance which prohibits pet shops from selling or disposing of dogs, cats or potbellied pigs other than those obtained from an animal care facility or nonprofit animal rescue organization.”

As both the

As USDA had previously suggested, it just posted a new version of the searchable database that had been dismantled this past February.  Access to the new version is available here.

Many animal rights organizations and animal-trade organizations had expressed outrage or concern when USDA initially dismantled its database.  The current version may not effectuate

The recent horrific attacks in Syria reminded me of the concerns following 9/11 about potential attacks on livestock and poultry.  Those concerns rose to the highest echelon in our government and others, exemplified by the first International Symposium on Agroterrorism, held in Kansas City, Missouri on May 5, 2005.

I attended that meeting and