by: Courtney Hogan
For nearly eight months, PIJAC has led an industry-wide effort to formalize animal care standards for small mammals, reptiles, and birds. The standards were the topic of a productive PIJAC-sponsored discussion among industry leaders at Global Pet Expo, where an outline of the standards was presented for review and feedback by the broader industry.
The standards themselves have been a work in progress under the PIJAC Small Animal Care Committee, with the goal of creating industry best practices for the care of small animals. Industry leaders saw a need to ensure that all breeders and distributors of birds and reptiles – which are not regulated under the Animal Welfare Act – as well as small mammals would be able to rely on a single set of high-level standards to provide for the care and security of both animals and employees.
For example, there currently exists no uniform standards for biosecurity and facility security standards. The Committee’s recommendations on these matters are general to account for the dynamic circumstances of each breeder and distributor, but also specific enough to provide effective guidance above and beyond what regulations are required in the Animal Welfare Act.
Participants in the discussion suggested many improvements to what the PIJAC committee has created. Among many other important ideas, industry leaders suggested standardizing the language and terms used throughout the document to provide the best guidance for breeders and distributors. This will, in turn, encourage breeders and distributors to continue providing a consistently high level of care for pets.
PIJAC is proud to continue working with industry leaders to improve these standards and turn them into the best common practices for responsible small animal breeders and distributors.