The definition was narrowed by the USDA to now read “a place of business or residence at which the seller, buyer, and the animal available for sale are physically present so that every buyer may personally observe the animal prior to purchasing and/or taking custody of that animal after purchase, and where only certain animals are sold or offered for sale, at retail, for use as pets.”
This change will exclude internet retailers and breeders who sell animals “sight unseen” from the “retail pet store” category, meaning they will now be required to obtain an AWA license and will be subject to inspection and regulation. This new retail pet store rule is aimed at protecting more animals from inadequate shelter, sanitation, access to water, veterinary care, and nutrition. This change was made on September 18, 2013 and will go into effect on November 8, 2013.
The USDA will be holding a series of webinars on the new retail pet store rule on November 7, November 14, November 21, and December 5 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST. To sign up for the webinars or for more information, visit http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAPHIS/bulletins/913e0e.