USDA Settles Lawsuit Challenging AWA Self-Reporting and “Teachable Moments” Rules

The United States Department of Agriculture has settled a lawsuit brought by Advancing Law for Animals on behalf of Stop Animal Exploitation Now and Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation challenging the agency’s promulgation of rules implementing the Animal Welfare Act. The settlement provides that the agency will remove a rule stating it will not issue a citation for noncompliance with the Act if self-reported in certain circumstances and will revise a rule that required citations only for violations that caused “noticeable pain or distress to an animal.”