WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (A.P.H.I.S.) recently conducted a national meeting for its employees who are responsible for providing leadership on humane care and treatment of animals. The four-day meeting was designed to bring the agency’s animal-care staff together and improve day-to-day operations by reinforcing performance standards, streamlining inspection procedures and improving communication, according to the agency.

The meeting included animal welfare-focused training sessions, information on best practices and discussion on the animal care program’s new inspection requirements handbook. The handbook, distributed to all employees, will serve as an essential resource to ensure that inspectors in every state conduct inspections and address non-compliance in the same way.