U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Feb 02, 2023

§ 2.1 - Requirements and application.

(a)(1) No person shall operate as a dealer, exhibitor, or operator of an auction sale, without a valid license, except persons who are exempt from the licensing requirements under paragraph (a)(3) of this section. A person must be 18 years of age or older to obtain a license. A person seeking a license shall apply on a form which will be furnished by the Deputy Administrator. The applicant shall provide the information requested on the application form, including, but not limited to:

(i) The name of the person applying for the license;

(ii) A valid mailing address through which the applicant can be reached at all times;

(iii) Valid addresses for all locations, facilities, premises, or sites where animals, animal facilities, equipment, and records are held, kept, or maintained;

(iv) The anticipated maximum number of animals on hand at any one time during the period of licensure;

(v) The anticipated type of animals described in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section to be owned, held, maintained, sold, or exhibited, including those animals leased, during the period of licensure;

(vi) If the person is seeking a license as an exhibitor, whether the person intends to exhibit any animal at any location other than the person's location(s) listed pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section; and

(vii) Disclosure of any plea of nolo contendere (no contest) or finding of violation of Federal, State, or local laws or regulations pertaining to animal cruelty or the transportation, ownership, neglect, or welfare of animals.

(2) The completed application form, along with a $120 license fee, shall be submitted to the appropriate Animal Care office.

(3) The following persons are exempt from the licensing requirements under section 2 or section 3 of the Act:

(i) Retail pet stores as defined in part 1 of this subchapter;

(ii) Any person who sells or negotiates the sale or purchase of any animal except wild or exotic animals, dogs, or cats, and who derives no more than $500 gross income from the sale of such animals during any calendar year and is not otherwise required to obtain a license;

(iii) Any person who maintains a total of four or fewer breeding female pet animals as defined in part 1 of this subchapter, small exotic or wild mammals (such as hedgehogs, degus, spiny mice, prairie dogs, flying squirrels, jerboas, domesticated ferrets, chinchillas, and gerbils), and/or domesticated farm-type animals (such as cows, goats, pigs, sheep, llamas, and alpacas) and sells only the offspring of these animals, which were born and raised on his or her premises, for pets or exhibition, and is not otherwise required to obtain a license. This exemption does not extend to any person residing in a household that collectively maintains a total of more than four of these breeding female animals, regardless of ownership, or to any person maintaining such breeding female animals on premises on which more than four of these breeding female animals are maintained, or to any person acting in concert with others where they collectively maintain a total of more than four of these breeding female animals, regardless of ownership;

(iv) Any person who sells fewer than 25 dogs and/or cats per year, which were born and raised on his or her premises, for research, teaching, or testing purposes or to any research facility and is not otherwise required to obtain a license. This exemption does not extend to any person residing in a household that collectively sells 25 or more dogs and/or cats, regardless of ownership, nor to any person acting in concert with others where they collectively sell 25 or more dogs and/or cats, regardless of ownership. The sale of any dog or cat not born and raised on the premises for research purposes requires a license;

(v) Any person who arranges for transportation or transports animals solely for the purpose of breeding, exhibiting in purebred shows, boarding (not in association with commercial transportation), grooming, or medical treatment, and is not otherwise required to obtain a license;

(vi) Any person who buys, sells, transports, or negotiates the sale, purchase, or transportation of any animals used only for the purposes of food or fiber (including fur);

(vii) Any person who maintains a total of eight or fewer pet animals as defined in part 1 of this subchapter, small exotic or wild mammals (such as hedgehogs, degus, spiny mice, prairie dogs, flying squirrels, jerboas, domesticated ferrets, chinchillas, and gerbils), and/or domesticated farm-type animals (such as cows, goats, pigs, sheep, llamas, and alpacas) for exhibition, and is not otherwise required to obtain a license. This exemption does not extend to any person acting in concert with others where they collectively maintain a total of more than eight of these animals for exhibition, regardless of possession and/or ownership;

(viii) Any person who buys animals solely for his or her own use or enjoyment and does not sell or exhibit animals, or is not otherwise required to obtain a license;

(b)(1) No person shall have more than one license. Licenses are issued to specific persons, and are issued for specific activities, types and numbers of animals, and approved sites. A new license must be obtained upon change of ownership, location, activities, or animals. A licensee shall notify Animal Care no fewer than 90 days and obtain a new license before any change in the name, address, substantial control or ownership of his business or operation, locations, activities, and number or type of animals described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Any person who is subject to the regulations in this subchapter and who intends to exhibit any animal at any location other than the person's approved site must provide that information on their application form in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section and submit written itineraries in accordance with § 2.126.

(2) Licenses authorize a specific number and specific type(s) of animals, as follows:

(i) Licenses authorize increments of 50 animals on hand at any single point in time during the period of licensure. A licensee must obtain a new license before any change resulting in more than the authorized number of animals on hand at any single point in time during the period of licensure.

(ii) Licenses authorize the use of animals subject to subparts A through F in part 3 of this subchapter, except that, for animals subject to subparts D and F, licenses must specifically authorize the use of each of the following groups of animals: Group 5 (baboons and nonbrachiating species larger than 33 pounds) and Group 6 (great apes over 55 pounds and brachiating species) nonhuman primates; exotic and wild felids (including but not limited to lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, cougars, lynx, servals, bobcats, and caracals, and any hybrid cross thereof); hyenas and/or exotic and wild canids (including but not limited to wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals); bears; and mega-herbivores (including but not limited to elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, and giraffes). A licensee must obtain a new license before using any animal beyond those types or numbers of animals authorized under the existing license.

(c) A license will be issued to any applicant, except as provided in §§ 2.9 through 2.11, when:

(1) The applicant has met the requirements of this section and §§ 2.2 and 2.3; and

(2) The applicant has paid a $120 license fee to the appropriate Animal Care office. The applicant may pay the fee by certified check, cashier's check, personal check, money order, or credit card. An applicant whose check is returned by a bank will be charged a fee of $20 for each returned check. If an applicant's check is returned, subsequent fees must be paid by certified check, cashier's check, money order, or credit card.

(d) The failure of any person to comply with any provision of the Act, or any of the provisions of the regulations or standards in this subchapter, shall constitute grounds for denial of a license or for its suspension or revocation by the Secretary, as provided in the Act.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control numbers 0579-0036 and 0579-0470) [54 FR 36147, Aug. 31, 1989, as amended at 63 FR 62926, Nov. 10, 1998; 69 FR 42099, July 14, 2004; 78 FR 57249, Sept. 18, 2013; 83 FR 25555, June 4, 2018; 85 FR 28795, May 13, 2020]

§ 2.2 - Acknowledgement of regulations and standards.

Animal Care will supply a copy of the Act and the regulations and standards in this subchapter to an applicant upon request. Signing the application form is an acknowledgement that the applicant has reviewed the Act and the regulations and standards and agrees to comply with them.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control numbers 0579-0036 and 0579-0470) [85 FR 28796, May 13, 2020]

§ 2.3 - Demonstration of compliance with standards and regulations.

(a) Each applicant for a license must demonstrate that his or her location(s) and any animals, facilities, vehicles, equipment, or other locations used or intended for use in the business comply with the Act and the regulations and standards set forth in parts 2 and 3 of this subchapter. Each applicant must make his or her animals, locations, facilities, vehicles, equipment, and records available for inspection during business hours and at other times mutually agreeable to the applicant and APHIS, to ascertain the applicant's compliance with the Act and the regulations and standards.

(b) Each applicant for a license must be inspected by APHIS and demonstrate compliance with the Act and the regulations and standards, as required in paragraph (a) of this section, before APHIS will issue a license. If the first inspection reveals that the applicant's animals, premises, facilities, vehicles, equipment, locations, or records do not meet the applicable requirements of this subchapter, APHIS will advise the applicant of existing deficiencies and the corrective measures that must be completed to come into compliance with the regulations and standards. An applicant who fails the first inspection may request up to two more inspections by APHIS to demonstrate his or her compliance with the Act and the regulations and standards. The applicant must request the second inspection, and if applicable, the third inspection, within 60 days following the first inspection.

(c) Any applicant who fails the third and final prelicense inspection may appeal all or part of the inspection findings to the Deputy Administrator. To appeal, the applicant must send a written statement contesting the inspection finding(s) and include any documentation or other information in support of the appeal. To receive consideration, the appeal must be received by the Deputy Administrator within 7 days of the date the applicant received the third prelicense inspection report. Within 7 days of receiving a timely appeal, the Deputy Administrator will issue a written response to notify the applicant whether APHIS will issue a license or deny the application.

(d) If an applicant fails inspection or fails to request reinspections within the 60-day period, or fails to submit a timely appeal of the third prelicense inspection report as described in paragraph (c) of this section, the applicant cannot reapply for a license for a period of 6 months from the date of the failed third inspection or the expiration of the time to request a third inspection. No license will be issued until the applicant pays the license fee and demonstrates upon inspection that the animals, premises, facilities, vehicles, equipment, locations, and records are in compliance with all applicable requirements in the Act and the regulations and standards in this subchapter.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0579-0036) [85 FR 28796, May 13, 2020]

§ 2.4 - Non-interference with APHIS officials.

A licensee or applicant for an initial license shall not interfere with, threaten, abuse (including verbally abuse), or harass any APHIS official in the course of carrying out his or her duties.

§ 2.5 - Duration of license and termination of license.

(a) A license issued under this part shall be valid and effective for 3 years unless:

(1) The license has been revoked or suspended pursuant to section 19 of the Act or terminated pursuant to § 2.12.

(2) The license is voluntarily terminated upon request of the licensee, in writing, to the Deputy Administrator.

(3) The license has expired, except that:

(i) The Deputy Administrator may issue a temporary license, which automatically expires after 120 days, to an applicant whose immediately preceding 3-year license has expired, if:

(A) The applicant submits the appropriate application form before the expiration date of a preceding license; and

(B) The applicant had no noncompliances with the Act and the regulations and standards in parts 2 and 3 of this subchapter documented in any inspection report during the preceding period of licensure.

(ii) For expedited hearings occurring under § 2.11(b)(2), a license will remain valid and effective until the administrative law judge issues his or her initial decision. Should the administrative law judge's initial decision affirm the denial of the license application, the applicant's license shall terminate immediately.

(4) There will not be a refund of the license fee if a license is denied, or terminated, suspended, or revoked prior to its expiration date.

(b) Any person who seeks the reinstatement of a license that has expired or been terminated must follow the procedure applicable to new applicants for a license set forth in § 2.1.

(c) A license which is invalid under this part shall be surrendered to the Deputy Administrator. If the license cannot be found, the licensee shall provide a written statement so stating to the Deputy Administrator.

[85 FR 28796, May 13, 2020]

§§ 2.6-2.8 - §[Reserved]

§ 2.9 - Officers, agents, and employees of licensees whose licenses have been suspended or revoked.

Any person who has been or is an officer, agent, or employee of a licensee whose license has been suspended or revoked and who was responsible for or participated in the activity upon which the order of suspension or revocation was based will not be licensed, or registered as a carrier, intermediate handler, dealer, exhibitor, or research facility, within the period during which the order of suspension or revocation is in effect.

[85 FR 28796, May 13, 2020]

§ 2.10 - Licensees whose licenses have been suspended or revoked.

(a) Any person whose license or registration has been suspended for any reason shall not be licensed, or registered, in his or her own name or in any other manner, within the period during which the order of suspension is in effect. No partnership, firm, corporation, or other legal entity in which any such person has a substantial interest, financial or otherwise, will be licensed or registered during that period. Any person whose license has been suspended for any reason may apply to the Deputy Administrator, in writing, for reinstatement of his or her license or registration.

(b) Any person whose license has been revoked shall not be licensed or registered, in his or her own name or in any other manner, and no partnership, firm, corporation, or other legal entity in which any such person has a substantial interest, financial or otherwise, will be licensed or registered.

(c) Any person whose license has been suspended or revoked shall not buy, sell, transport, exhibit, or deliver for transportation, any animal during the period of suspension or revocation, under any circumstances, whether on his or her behalf or on the behalf of another licensee or registrant.

[85 FR 28796, May 13, 2020]

§ 2.11 - Denial of license application.

(a) A license will not be issued to any applicant who:

(1) Has not complied with the requirements of §§ 2.1 through 2.4 and has not paid the fees indicated in § 2.1;

(2) Is not in compliance with the Act or any of the regulations or standards in this subchapter;

(3) Has had a license revoked or whose license is suspended, as set forth in § 2.1(d);

(4) Was an officer, agent, or employee of a licensee whose license has been suspended or revoked and who was responsible for or participated in the activity upon which the order of suspension or revocation was based, as set forth in § 2.9;

(5) Has pled nolo contendere (no contest) or has been found to have violated any Federal, State, or local laws or regulations pertaining to animal cruelty within 3 years of application, or after 3 years if the Administrator determines that the circumstances render the applicant unfit to be licensed;

(6) Is or would be operating in violation or circumvention of any Federal, State, or local laws; or

(7) Has made any false or fraudulent statements or provided any false or fraudulent records to the Department or other government agencies, or has pled nolo contendere (no contest) or has been found to have violated any Federal, State, or local laws or regulations pertaining to the transportation, ownership, neglect, or welfare of animals, or is otherwise unfit to be licensed and the Administrator determines that the issuance of a license would be contrary to the purposes of the Act.

(b)(1) An applicant whose initial license application has been denied may request a hearing in accordance with the applicable rules of practice in 7 CFR part 1 for the purpose of showing why the application for license should not be denied. The denial of an initial license application shall remain in effect until the final decision has been rendered. Should the license denial be upheld, the applicant may again apply for a license 1 year from the date of the final order denying the application, unless the order provides otherwise.

(2) An applicant who submitted a timely appeal of a third prelicense inspection as described in § 2.3(c), and whose appeal results in the denial of the license application, may request an expedited hearing if the applicant held a valid license when he or she submitted the license application that has been denied and the Deputy Administrator received such license application no fewer than 90 days prior to the expiration of the valid license. If the applicant meets the criteria in this paragraph (b)(2), and notwithstanding the timeframes of the proceedings set forth in the applicable rules of practice (7 CFR 1.130 through 1.151):

(i) The applicant must submit the request for an expedited hearing within 30 days of receiving notice from the Deputy Administrator that the license application has been denied;

(ii) The administrative law judge shall set the expedited hearing so that it occurs within 30 days of receiving a timely request for expedited hearing as described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section; and

(iii) The administrative law judge must issue an initial decision no later than 30 days after the expedited hearing.

(iv) The applicant's license will remain valid until the administrative law judge issues his or her initial decision. Should the administrative law judge's initial decision affirm the denial of the license application, the applicant's license shall terminate immediately.

(c) No partnership, firm, corporation, or other legal entity in which a person whose license application has been denied has a substantial interest, financial or otherwise, will be licensed within 1 year of the license denial.

(d) No license will be issued under circumstances that the Administrator determines would circumvent any order, stipulation, or settlement agreement suspending, revoking, terminating, or denying a license or disqualifying a person from engaging in activities under the Act.

[85 FR 28797, May 13, 2020]

§ 2.12 - Termination of a license.

A license may be terminated at any time for any reason that a license application may be denied pursuant to § 2.11 after a hearing in accordance with the applicable rules of practice in 7 CFR part 1.

[85 FR 28797, May 13, 2020]

§ 2.13 - Appeal of inspection report.

Except as otherwise provided in § 2.3(c), any licensee or registrant may appeal all or part of the inspection findings in an inspection report to the Deputy Administrator. To appeal, the licensee or registrant must send a written statement contesting the inspection finding(s) and include any documentation or other information in support of the appeal. To receive consideration, the appeal must be received by the Deputy Administrator within 21 days of the date the licensee or registrant received the inspection report that is the subject of the appeal.

[85 FR 28797, May 13, 2020]