Catholic University Law Review


Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act, Animal Welfare Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act to protect and preserve endangered and threatened fish and wildlife, animals, and marine mammals. The United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) is the primary administrative agency in charge of regulating zoos, wildlife centers, and aquariums, yet fails to consistently enforce the Animal Welfare Act, which this Comment reviews. This means that private animal advocacy agencies are left suing zoos, wildlife centers, and aquariums under the “taking” clause of the Endangered Species Act in order to ensure animal safety and care. While most circuits agree upon what rises to a “taking”, the Eleventh Circuit has taken a different position. This Comment reviews the Eleventh Circuit’s position and why it should not be followed by other circuits.