Animal Welfare Act – Federal law regulating the use, sale, and handling of animals. The Animal Welfare Act was signed into law in 1966. While its original intent was to regulate the care and use of animals in the laboratory, it has become the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Other laws, policies, and guidelines may include additional species coverage or specifications for animal care and use, but all refer to the Animal Welfare Act as the minimum acceptable standard. The Act was amended four times (1970, 1976, 1985, 1990) and can be found in Unites States Code, Title 7, Sections 2131 to 2156.