Animal Welfare Act USA

The purposes of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) are:

(1) to insure that animals intended for use ... as pets are provided humane care and treatment;

(2) to assure the humane treatment of animals during transportation in commerce;

(3) to protect the owners of animals from the theft of their animals by preventing the sale or use of animals which have been stolen. See 7 U.S.C. §2131.

Indeed, where courts considered whether the AWA preempts local regulation of animal ownership, breeding, or sale, they found no preemption. See, e.g., DeHart, 39 F.3d at 722 (rejecting AWA preemption challenge to local ordinance barring ownership of dangerous animals; stating " it is clear that the AWA does not evince an intent to preempt state or local regulation of animals or public welfare" and "expressly contemplates state and local regulation of animals"); Kerr v. Kimmell, 740 F. Supp. 1525, 1530 (D. Kan. 1990) (rejecting AWA preemption challenge to state licensing scheme for sale and breeding of dogs; noting "Congress anticipated that states would remain active in this area of traditional state interest.").

See also Hendricks County Bd. of Zoning Appeals v. Barlow, 656 N.E.2d 481 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995); Rio Grande Kennel Club v. City of Albuquerque, 2008 NMCA 93, 144 N.M. 636, 190 P.3d 1131 (N.M. Ct. App. 2008).

Based on this authority, and the lack of any contrary authority cited by Applicants, there is no basis to conclude the AWA preempts local regulation of animal ownership, breeding or sale.