9 CFR § 3.8 - Exercise for dogs.

§ 3.8 Exercise for dogs.

Dealers, exhibitors, and research facilities must develop, document, and follow an appropriate plan to provide dogs with the opportunity for exercise. In addition, the plan must be approved by the attending veterinarian. The plan must include written standard procedures to be followed in providing the opportunity for exercise. The plan must be made available to APHIS upon request, and, in the case of research facilities, to officials of any pertinent funding Federal agency. The plan, at a minimum, must comply with each of the following:

(a)Dogs housed individually.Dogs over 12 weeks of age, except bitches with litters, housed, held, or maintained by any dealer, exhibitor, or research facility, including Federal research facilities, must be provided the opportunity for exercise regularly if they are kept individually in cages, pens, or runs that provide less than two times the required floor space for that dog, as indicated by § 3.6(c)(1) of this subpart.

(b)Dogs housed in groups.Dogs over 12 weeks of age housed, held, or maintained in groups by any dealer, exhibitor, or research facility, including Federal research facilities, do not require additional opportunity for exercise regularly if they are maintained in cages, pens, or runs that provide in total at least 100 percent of the required space for each dog if maintained separately. Such animals may be maintained in compatible groups, unless:

(1) Housing in compatible groups is not in accordance with a research proposal and the proposal has been approved by the research facility Committee;

(2) In the opinion of the attending veterinarian, such housing would adversely affect the health or well-being of the dog(s); or

(3) Any dog exhibits aggressive or vicious behavior.

(c)Methods and period of providing exercise opportunity.

(1) The frequency, method, and duration of the opportunity for exercise shall be determined by the attending veterinarian and, at research facilities, in consultation with and approval by the Committee.

(2) Dealers, exhibitors, and research facilities, in developing their plan, should consider providing positive physical contact with humans that encourages exercise through play or other similar activities. If a dog is housed, held, or maintained at a facility without sensory contact with another dog, it must be provided with positive physical contact with humans at least daily.

(3) The opportunity for exercise may be provided in a number of ways, such as:

(i) Group housing in cages, pens or runs that provide at least 100 percent of the required space for each dog if maintained separately under the minimum floor space requirements of § 3.6(c)(1) of this subpart;

(ii) Maintaining individually housed dogs in cages, pens, or runs that provide at least twice the minimum floor space required by § 3.6(c)(1) of this subpart;

(iii) Providing access to a run or open area at the frequency and duration prescribed by the attending veterinarian; or

(iv) Other similar activities.

(4) Forced exercise methods or devices such as swimming, treadmills, or carousel-type devices are unacceptable for meeting the exercise requirements of this section.

(d)Exemptions.

(1) If, in the opinion of the attending veterinarian, it is inappropriate for certain dogs to exercise because of their health, condition, or well-being, the dealer, exhibitor, or research facility may be exempted from meeting the requirements of this section for those dogs. Such exemption must be documented by the attending veterinarian and, unless the basis for exemption is a permanent condition, must be reviewed at least every 30 days by the attending veterinarian.

(2) A research facility may be exempted from the requirements of this section if the principal investigator determines for scientific reasons set forth in the research proposal that it is inappropriate for certain dogs to exercise. Such exemption must be documented in the Committee-approved proposal and must be reviewed at appropriate intervals as determined by the Committee, but not less than annually.

(3) Records of any exemptions must be maintained and made available to USDA officials or any pertinent funding Federal agency upon request.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0579-0093)