Animal & Dog Law

Overview

Animal law is the body of law surrounding pet ownership, wildlife, animals used in the entertainment industry and animals raised for food and research. Animal law is a combination of various areas of law, such as tort, criminal, contract and constitutional law. Important issues in animal law include animal cruelty, companion animal concerns, animal breeding and animal estate planning.

Animal Cruelty

Animal protection laws, known as anti-cruelty laws, regulate the abuse of animals. The Animal Welfare Act authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture to regulate the use of animals in research settings, circuses and zoos. Additionally, every state criminalizes the commission of inhumane acts against animals. In many states, violation of these laws is treated as a felony. Animal cruelty laws address a wide variety of issues, including owner neglect, pet mills or "farms" and animal laboratory testing. The Humane Society of the United States works to shield animals from mistreatment by actively investigating potential abusers. Another prominent animal rights organization is the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which seeks to protect abused animals through the legal system. The ALDF brings a number of lawsuits each year in an effort to eliminate animal cruelty.

LegislationFeed

NewsFeed

BlogsFeed

  • ESA Section 9 Case Dismissed Because of Allegations re Take July 16, 2014 Earlier this month, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a lawsuit brought under section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because, instead of attacking a specific project or approval, the complaint…
  • Animals Need Lawyers—and Animals Need You! June 27, 2014 ALDF works though the legal system to improve the lives of animals. We file lawsuits, we advise lawmakers, we help catch animal abusers, and we educate the next generation of animal lawyers—all with the goal of protecting animals. When people…
  • Missouri's Right-to-Harm Amendment June 25, 2014 The August 5th primary election in Missouri will ask voters there whether to approve Amendment 1, which seeks to enshrine the "right to farm" in the state constitution. It's being pushed by the same politicians and special interests who tried to…
  • Legally Brief: the U.S. Must Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals June 5, 2014 Some good news may be coming for animals: the Humane Cosmetics Act, introduced by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) as "HR 4148." If passed, the Act would eliminate animal testing for cosmetics made or sold in the U.S. It would also make it illegal to…
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund April 28, 2014