These are guidelines for breeders and distributors of small mammals, reptiles and birds to ensure animal welfare.
The updated guidelines for breeders and distributors outline care standards for small animals across all stages, maintenance guidelines for facilities and transport of animals and record-keeping and staffing procedures.
The bird care section has seen the most substantial updates following new regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture in February 2023. The changes reflect updates to the “Blue Book” of rules relating to inspectors’ assessments of animal care conditions upheld by pet bird breeders, distributors, and transporters.
There are also changes to the recommendations for UVB lighting in reptile and amphibian enclosures and distinctions between quarantine and isolation protocols.
Currently, the care standards are available for frogs, snakes, marine fish, chinchillas, cockatiels, marine reefs, ferrets, turtles, guinea pigs, goldfish, hamsters, kittens, lizards, parakeets, parrots, puppies, rabbits and more.
A rising need
The new standards are an update to the 2017 guidelines. Mike Bober, President and CEO of the Pet Advocacy Network (PAN) attributed the need for an update to “important regulatory changes and advances in pet care practices” over the past 5 years.
“By codifying best practices and pet sector expectations for care, the standards will help ensure these animals receive the proper nutrition, veterinary care, housing, transportation and more that they deserve and that our trade has a shared commitment to providing at all times,” he says.
The PAN’s Small Animal Committee members formed the new guidelines with input from pet sector leaders, animal care experts and veterinarians.
Focus on public education
For the health and well-being of animals and those who care for them, PAN will now shift its focus to the Habitattitude™ public education program, which it jointly sponsors alongside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The program aims to inspire responsible pet ownership and environmental stewardship toward protecting the environment from the impacts of invasive species.
“In 2024, we will be expanding the partnerships, bringing on additional organizations and individuals, including government agencies, academic institutions, and classroom teachers who are involved in pet care, invasive species, or environmental preservation concerns as partners”, Bober continues.
Those they bring on board will be encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to promoting responsible pet care and a healthy environment.
The latest articles
European pet food manufacturers establish new group
SANYpet, Natural Line and Codico have created a new production and distribution group to capture the international market.
Flybird Holding’s tender offer for Musti is expected to be completed by March
Portuguese group Sonae increased the amount that shareholders of the Nordic pet retailer will obtain to €26.10 per share.
Zoetis increased revenue by 6% in 2023
Sales of its osteoarthritis, flea, tick and heartworm medications have driven the company’s pet portfolio’s positive results in the last quarter of 2023.
Weekly newsletter to stay up-to-date
Discover what’s happening in the pet industry. Get the must-read stories and insights in your inbox.