Internet Animal Sales

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Internet animal sales are becoming more prevalent, setting up opportunities for abuse. In light of this, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has redefined the meaning of “retail pet store” through the Animal Welfare Act. The objective is to improve monitoring by the Agency and to ensure humane treatment and health care of these animals.

Horses are also commonly advertised and marketed through Internet websites. So how might this increased oversight apply to horse sales via the Internet? Cheryl Jacobson, Deputy Director of Equine Protection of the Humane Society of the United States, reported, “The redefinition of ‘retail pet sales’ will not have any impact on horse sellers as horses are not regulated under the Animal Welfare Act except for those used in research.”

Per the U.S. Code on transportation, sale and handling of certain animals under the Animal Welfare Act, the term “animal” specifically excludes horses not used for research purposes.