Updated USDA Regulations

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Office for Research Protections     |     IACUC  

February 21, 2023​

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has updated its regulations regarding use of birds in research. The USDA published a final rule on February 17, 2023, establishing regulatory standards for the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of birds protected by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Birds bred for use in research are excluded from regulation under the act; the February 2023 final rule further defined this exclusion of bred for use in research to mean “an animal that is bred in captivity and used for research, teaching, testing, or experimentation purposes” would be excluded from regulation under the act. Thus, birds that are wild caught will be regulated by the USDA.

The USDA Final Rule is effective March 23, 2023, and must be implemented by Penn State by August 21, 2023. The Office for Research Protections (ORP) and the Animal Resource Program will review the new standards and reach out to faculty and departments that may be impacted by the regulatory changes. If you have any questions, please contact ORP at orp-iacuc@psu.edu or (814) 865-1775.