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USDA Code Appears to Conflict with Federal Mandate

Exotic legal issues, bans, laws, regulations, Animal Rights discussions etc.

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Wiggles
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USDA Code Appears to Conflict with Federal Mandate

Postby Wiggles » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:14 am

I've been reading into the various laws that govern "exotics," and I came across an old agriculture law that seems to negate the USDA's authority over some "exotics" in some cases. By the looks of it, one could sell certain "exotics" without the USDA license under certain circumstances because the law classifies them as domestic animals.

§433. Domestic raising of fur-bearing animals; classification

For the purposes of all classification and administration of Acts of Congress, Executive orders, administrative orders, and regulations pertaining to-

(a) fox, rabbit, mink, chinchilla, marten, fisher, muskrat, karakul and all other fur-bearing animals, raised in captivity for breeding or other useful purposes shall be deemed domestic animals;

(b) such animals and the products thereof shall be deemed agricultural products; and

(c) the breeding, raising, producing, or marketing of such animals or their products by the producer shall be deemed an agricultural pursuit.

(Apr. 30, 1946, ch. 242, §1, 60 Stat. 127 .)
Effective Date

Act Apr. 30, 1946, ch. 242, §3, 60 Stat. 128 , provided that: "This Act [enacting this section and section 434 of this title] shall take effect sixty days after the date of its enactment [Apr. 30, 1946]."

Source: U.S. Code ([url]uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title7-section433&num=0&edition=prelim[/url])

Does anyone with any legal experience know if this law would actually hold up against the USDA (and perhaps beyond that)? I'm not looking to hear the "USDA is the be-all, end-all" deal; I'm curious to see if this law actually presents a legal loophole that would hold up.
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Juska
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Re: USDA Code Appears to Conflict with Federal Mandate

Postby Juska » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:06 pm

Animals like foxes, mink, rabbits, etc. bred and used specifically for fur and meat are considered "farm animals", not "exotics" or "wildlife" under USDA. So it's basically saying the same thing as the USDA definition. I think this is just meant to clarify that animals that are farmed are agricultural assets, and not wild animals.

§ 2134 - Valid license for dealers and exhibitors required (USDA)
No dealer or exhibitor shall sell or offer to sell or transport or offer for
transportation, in commerce, to any research facility or for exhibition or for
use as a pet any animal, or buy, sell, offer to buy or sell, transport or offer
for transportation, in commerce, to or from another dealer or exhibitor under
this chapter any animals, unless and until such dealer or exhibitor shall have
obtained a license from the Secretary and such license shall not have been
suspended or revoked.

The exemptions include but are not limited to, retail pet stores, breeders with four or fewer breeding females of dogs, cats, and/or small exotic or wild mammals, sales of less than 25 dogs or cats per year to research facilities, purchases and sales of animals used only for the purposes of food or fiber (including fur).

The law you cited says "such animals and the products thereof shall be deemed agricultural products" which seems to be in compliance with the USDA not counting them as "animals" in the sense of domestic cats and dogs.

So, with that logic, if you wanted to start selling your fur/meat livestock as pets, you would need some kind of USDA license.

See below:

Animal means any live or dead dog, cat, nonhuman primate, guinea pig,
hamster, rabbit, or any other warm-blooded animal, which is being used, or is
intended for use for research, teaching, testing, experimentation, or exhibition
purposes, or as a pet. This term excludes birds, rats of the genus Rattus, and
mice of the genus Mus, bred for use in research; horses not used for research
purposes; and other farm animals, such as, but not limited to, livestock or
poultry used or intended for use as food or fiber, or livestock or poultry used
or intended for use for improving animal nutrition, breeding, management,
or production efficiency, or for improving the quality of food or fiber.

Farm animal means any domestic species of cattle, sheep, swine, goats,
llamas, or horses, which are normally and have historically, been kept and
raised on farms in the United States, and used or intended for use as food or
fiber, or for improving animal nutrition, breeding, management, or production
efficiency, or for improving the quality of food or fiber. This term also
includes animals such as rabbits, mink, and chinchilla, when they are used
solely for purposes of meat or fur, and animals such as horses and llamas
when used solely as work and pack animals.

Pet animal means any animal that has commonly been kept as a pet in
family households in the United States, such as dogs, cats, guinea pigs,
rabbits, and hamsters. This term excludes exotic animals and wild animals.

Exotic animal means any animal not identified in the definition of
“animal” provided in this part that is native to a foreign country or of foreign
origin or character, is not native to the United States, or was introduced from
abroad. This term specifically includes animals such as, but not limited to,
lions, tigers, leopards, elephants, camels, antelope, anteaters, kangaroos, and
water buffalo, and species of foreign domestic cattle, such as Ankole, Gayal,
and Yak

Wild animal means any animal which is now or historically has been
found in the wild, or in the wild state, within the boundaries of the United
States, its territories, or possessions. This term includes, but is not limited
to, animals such as: deer, skunk, opossum, raccoon, mink, armadillo, coyote,
squirrel, fox, wolf, etc.
Last edited by TamanduaGirl on Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: oops, sorry, get my quote and edit buttons mixed up sometimes, I'll blame my dyslexia.
Pet parent of Emo the border collie mix, Conte the schnoodle and Namira the harlequin cat!
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: USDA Code Appears to Conflict with Federal Mandate

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:01 pm

And I somehow lost both of my posts oh well, maybe should go back to bed. I had just said the same thing as Juska but we posted at the same time and hers showed up first anyway.

Yes, short answer is pets and exhibition are not agricultural uses. Breeders can buy from fur farm because that's an agricultural use but exhibitors and dealers can't because then the fur farm needs USDA.

Also USDA does cover domestic anyway. Their rules are just slightly different since there are some small limits before it is needed. Like your dancing dog at the fair means you need a USDA licensed but you don't need one to show at an AKC show since is a "livestock" breeding show.
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Wiggles
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Re: USDA Code Appears to Conflict with Federal Mandate

Postby Wiggles » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:33 pm

My problem is with their classification of foxes. In this publication, the USDA appears to classify them as "wild animals" regardless of their use (fur breeder, pet, etc.). Or would they fall under the exemption that Juska mentioned (animals solely used for meat or fur)? It just seems like a legal gray area to me.

Wild Animal Dealers—
A business or individual selling wild animals must
be licensed. “Wild animals” means any animal that is now or historically
has been found in the wild, or in the wild state, within the boundaries of
the United States, its territories, or possessions. This term includes, but
is not limited to, animals such as deer, skunk, raccoon, mink, armadillo,
coyote, squirrel, fox, and wolf.
If you sell any wild or exotic animals, you are not eligible to claim
exemption as a retail pet store. You become a full-fledged dealer, and
you must comply with standards of care for all regulated animals—not just
wild or exotic animals. Annual license fees are based on the amount
received from the sale of regulated animals less the amount paid for
these animals.

Source: Licensing and Registration Under the Animal Welfare Act (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications ... licreg.pdf)
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Juska
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Re: USDA Code Appears to Conflict with Federal Mandate

Postby Juska » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:15 pm

It's not a gray area. I posted both of those definitions together. Farm animals like foxes and mink used for fur are not also wild animals.

You need a dealer permit if you're selling foxes as pets. If you are using foxes for fur, you can't sell them as pets, and therefore do not need a dealer permit. The law you cited originally only further cements that idea by classifying them as not a wild animal. There is no loophole.
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Re: USDA Code Appears to Conflict with Federal Mandate

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:00 pm

The USDA definition is just a way to group animals together. They could do that however they want, it wont matter how defined elsewhere.

Purple animal means any animal which is now or historically has been
found in the wild, or in the wild state, within the boundaries of the United
States, its territories, or possessions. This term includes, but is not limited
to, animals such as: deer, skunk, opossum, raccoon, mink, armadillo, coyote,
squirrel, fox, wolf, etc.

If they did that instead the "Purple Animal" section would apply to foxes etc, not just purple squirrels because the definition of purple isn't purple colored animals. Silly example but trying to show why their use of the word wild doesn't matter.

The one law says foxes etc are domestic animals when used for an agricultural purpose. USDA says those same animals are not covered by APHIS rules when used solely for agricultural purposes. This also means their definition of wild doesn't apply to them because the law doesn't apply to them. But the law and the definition of wild does apply to foxes when used for non-agri purposes. So that's reason 2 the wording doesn't matter. USDA classed foxes wild but it doesn't apply to foxes used for agri reasons only so those animals were not classed wild because the law doesn't apply.

TL babbled like a fool:

1 words usage does not matter
2 USDA rules and definitions do not apply to the animals covered by the first law
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Wiggles
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Re: USDA Code Appears to Conflict with Federal Mandate

Postby Wiggles » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:23 pm

That makes more sense now; I wish they simplified their code to make it easier to understand.

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