Portraits that unite children with small animals such as rabbits and ducklings are popular with clients especially during the springtime. If you're photographing a client with their own pets, you're free and clear under the law. But if you're bringing these animals into your studio for sessions, you're considered an animal exhibitor under the Animal Welfare Act, which means you'll need to obtain an animal exhibitor license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Here's a step-by-step to obtaining that license:
Also find out if there’s a governing body that regulates animal welfare for your county to learn if you need additional licenses or permits.
There is no definitive list of animals covered under the Animal Welfare Act. As a rule, all warm-blooded animals (including rabbits, in this case) are regulated. Standards are currently being developed for birds. Farm animals are exempt.
RELATED: Animals in studio
Source: Tanya Espinosa, Public Affairs Specialist for USDA-APHIS