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Animal Welfare Act Timeline

Pepper Goes Missing

June 22, 1965

Sports Illustrated* reports the story about Pepper, the Lakavage family's dalmatian that was stolen from their farm in Pennsylvania in June 1965 and sold to a research facility in New York City. Pepper's theft and eventual death prompts Rep. Joseph Resnick (D-NY) to introduce a Laboratory Animal Welfare bill in Congress, an early milestone in the history of the Animal Welfare Act.

Julia and Peter Lakavage. N.d. Photograph. www.slate.comWeb. 31 Jul 2015. .

Animal Welfare Act Expands

December 24, 1970

This amended law expands the Animal Welfare Act's protections to cover all warm-blooded animals and regulates more facilities and people. These regulated groups and individuals now include people who exhibit, transport, or use animals in the pursuit of medical and scientific knowledge.

Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals

December 23, 1985

The 1985 amendment introduces new requirements for enriching the lives of nonhuman primates, providing exercise for dogs, considering alternatives to painful or distressful procedures, establishing Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs), and creating an information service at the National Agricultural Library (now the Animal Welfare Information Center, AWIC).

Further Protections for Dogs

June 18, 2008

The 2008 amendments stipulate that dogs imported into the United States must be at least six months of age, in good health, and have all necessary vaccinations. They also strengthen dog fighting prohibitions.

Modifying the Definition of "Exhibitor"

January 10, 2013

In response to concerns of small-scale exhibitors, Congress amends the Animal Welfare Act to exclude owners of common, domesticated household pets who derive less than a substantial portion of their income for exhibiting an animal that exclusively resides at their residence from licensing requirements.