As many of you know, there is no federal oversight of animal shelters. They will continue to operate as usual during the government shutdown which, in too many cases, is a tragedy in itself. But with the failure of Congress to do its job and keep the government running, I wanted to mention a few animal related services that are being impacted by the federal government shutdown.
- USDA licensed dog breeding facility inspectors, who never exactly did a bang up job anyway, are furloughed. Despite the recent announcement that the USDA would begin federal oversight of some additional breeders who use the internet as their store front for puppy sales, no one is apparently being inspected during the shutdown. The USDA website, which normally has breeding facility inspection reports available, is dark.
- Animals used for research at USDA facilities will be provided care even though the facilities themselves will be closed.
- USDA food inspectors will remain on the job so the food you eat and feed to your pets – or for those who feed kibble/canned pet food, the ingredients used to make that food – will be as safe as it was before the shutdown, which is up for debate.
- Although the animals are still receiving care, the National Zoo is closed and the panda cam is dark. The loss of the panda cam seems to be the only thing that might motivate citizens to take to the streets.
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