HWS USDA Information
The breeding, selling, and in some cases, exhibition of pet hedgehogs in the U.S. is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Depending on the numbers of hedgehogs you own, breed, sell, or wish to exhibit, you may need to obtain a USDA license, undergo inspections, and meet pre-set requirements. Neglecting to obtain a needed license is punishable by law.
To find out more about the USDA and its requirements, follow the links below. Use this resource to look up and verify the licensing status of breeders and pet stores in your area; to determine if you need a license; and to obtain inspection reports and contact the USDA when necessary.
To verify the need for a license, go to:
To see if a facility, breeder, or exhibitor is licensed, go to:
Click on “View AWA Inspection Reports” on the right-hand side of the page, “AGREE” to continue, and using the “search” box, enter the name of the breeder, pet store, displayer, or whatever information you have. If they are located, you will see their business name, address, USDA license #, and will be able to view inspection reports.
Selling hedgehogs, by a pet store for example, always requires a USDA license; if you wish to report a pet store on suspicion of selling hedgehogs without a license, or to report substandard care of the hedgehogs within, and do not see a license listed, the next step is to contact the USDA office in charge of that state and verify the lack of, or need for, a license, and to ask for an inspection if desired. An inspection request may be made anonymously.
Breeding or exhibiting hedgehogs does not always require a license; it depends on the number of animals owned, the number of exhibition events per year, and other factors. If you wish to verify the need for a license, or to report substandard care by a breeder or exhibitor, and do not see a license listed, the next step is to contact the USDA office in charge of that state and verify the lack of, or need for, a license, and to ask for an inspection if desired. An inspection request may be made anonymously.
To contact the USDA with a concern, complaint, question, or request for an inspection, go to:
If you are concerned by the care and conditions of hedgehogs in a pet store, breeding facility, or exhibit, these USDA links provide a way for the animals to be inspected. If you want assistance, the Hedgehog Welfare Society’s Advocacy—Pet-store/USDA Liaison Committee can help you with this process. Please contact them at email@example.com and be sure to put “Hedgehog Help Needed” in the subject line. We share your concerns over proper animal care and licensing and will work with you to try to improve a situation.