The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking new measures to ensure the health and welfare of pets sold over the Internet.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it has revised the definition of “retail pet store” within the Animal Welfare Act to prevent many breeders selling pets online from sidestepping APHIS licensing requirements and inspections.

According to the USDA, the new definition of a retail pet store is “a place of business or residence at which the seller, buyer, and the animal available for sale are physically present so that the buyer may personally observe the animal and help ensure its health prior to purchasing or taking custody of it.”

Because of the definition change, breeders and other businesses who sell animals sight unseen over the Internet, by phone, or through the mail will need to obtain a license as well as submit to inspections. Many of these sellers and groups had previously avoided federal oversight by classifying themselves as retail pet stores, which are exempt from the rules, APHIS reported.

To read the full; article, go to: http://www.aahanet.org/blog/newstat/post/2013/09/12/143539/USDA-to-regulate-internet-pet-sales.aspx

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