Tessa, a victim of pound seizure. © 2002 Allie Phillips

In a report just issued by the Government Accountability Office, GAO analyzed U.S. Department of Agriculture’s oversight on dealers and the costs of the oversight. GAO reviewed inspection reports for fiscal years 2007 through 2009 which contained 54 violations out of 156 inspection reports, with 7 of the 9 dealers having at least one violation. USDA attempted 326 trace backs during that time, to validate the origin of the animal to insure compliance with the Animal Welfare Act on the source of animals. GAO found that 29% of the trace backs were unsuccessful or had not been completed by USDA. When a trace back is not complete, that means that the animal could have come from a source not allowed by law. The report found that USDA is unable to fully oversee these 9 Class B dealers and to insure the American public that cats and dogs brokered by these dealers are obtained from legal sources. The report also noted that USDA has not tracked the costs of overseeing the dealers.

U.S. Department of Agriculture leaders admit that it is difficult to oversee the activities of random source Class B dealers, a very small portion of over 10,000 licensees. The only way to insure that pets are not improperly obtained and sold for experimentation is to ban this system entirely. To help work toward this goal and to protect all of our animals, read How Shelter Pets are Brokered for Experimentation: Understanding Pound Seizure and learn what you can do to help! Then more pets, like Tessa (photo above), will not suffer the unknown fate of pound seizure.

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