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About the Collection

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was signed into law in 1966. It is the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Other laws, policies, and guidelines may include additional species coverage or specifications for animal care and use, but all refer to the Animal Welfare Act as the minimum acceptable standard. The Act is enforced by USDA, APHIS, Animal Care. The Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) is a Federally mandated program at the National Agricultural Library which provides information on animal care and use topics, including the AWA and its regulations. AWIC supports the Animal Welfare Act History Digital Collection (AWAHDC).

What is in the AWAHDC?

The AWAHDC contains U.S. Government publications that fall into three categories:

  • Legislative History of the AWA (including public laws, hearings, Congressional reports, and excerpts from the Congressional Record)
  • Regulatory History of the AWA (Federal Register documents)
  • USDA publications (coming soon)

What is NOT in the AWAHDC?

  • Documents published before 1960
  • Documents regarding animals not covered by the Animal Welfare Act (e.g., livestock, wildlife, or animals outside of the United States)
  • Documents about animals but not about the Animal Welfare Act

See also: How to Use the Collection