The USDA released two new Tech Notes for Animal Welfare Act licensees and registrants on Friday.

The publications help support the key goals of the USDA Animal Care Strategic Plan for 2016-2020: to support efforts by regulated entities to adhere to federal animal welfare standards and to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness of Animal Care.

The first Tech Note details a new incentive program to recognize licensees/registrants who routinely monitor activities and take appropriate action to address noncompliant items. Animal Care hopes that this program will help promote and encourage "open, two-way communication between facility operators and Animal Care personnel."

Participation in this program is entirely voluntary.

The second Tech Note shares and highlights some successful practices that regulated entities are currently using at their facilities.

The Note also shares some helpful tips and practices for monitoring the welfare of laboratory animal models and other animals covered by the Animal Welfare Act.

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public.