Many people know that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is the agency tasked with administering the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). But did you know that this is the 50th anniversary of that Act?
In 1965, a Dalmatian named Pepper was stolen from her backyard by a dealer, who then sold her to a hospital. Pepper was used in research and subsequently died. The public outcry was, understandably, enormous, including coverage in several major magazines. As a result, Congress passed the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act – the precursor to the AWA – in 1966, and tasked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure the health and wellness of animals used in research.