House votes to ease rules for TV, movie extras who are filmed with their pets

Under the current interpretation of the Animal Welfare Act, people who appear as extras with a pet are treated as pet exhibitors and must submit to numerous administrative requirements under the law.

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"These are people who appear in background film scenes and may work on the film set for a couple of hours at a time or a day or two at the most," Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) said during brief debate on the bill.

"If that person has their pet with them during the filming, the current interpretation of the Animal Welfare Act is that the extra would be designated an animal exhibitor under federal law, and must therefore be licensed, inspected and comply with all the administrative and record-keeping requirements of the act," he added. "This was not what the law intended, nor is the administration of such a requirement a necessary or useful allocation of scare federal resources."

The bill would no longer treat these people as pet exhibitors, as long as they do not derive a substantial portion of their income from these activities.

The bill is one of several unrelated to the "fiscal cliff" that the House is considering Monday, many of which will receive roll-call votes later in the day.

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