The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Animal Law Update is a series highlighting legal and policy developments in the rapidly emerging field of animal law.


After Groundbreaking Animal Rights Ruling, Islamabad High Court Continues to Affirm Original Decision

In the months following a groundbreaking decision from the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan that animals have legal and natural rights, Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued three subsequent orders, each affirming the court’s original ruling and expressing continued interest in the animals’ well-being.

Australian State Bans Greyhound Racing

New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, has banned greyhound racing after a government investigation found overwhelming evidence of “horrific” cruelty.

Massachusetts Farmed Animal Ballot Measure Survives Constitutional Challenge

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has allowed a ballot question addressing the confinement of farmed animals to move forward, ruling against a constitutional challenge in a unanimous decision.

Dogs Are Not Mere Property, Rules Oregon Supreme Court

The June 2016 ruling in State v. Newcomb holds that law enforcement do not need to obtain a warrant before a veterinarian can administer a routine blood test if there is probable cause to believe that an animal is being cruelly treated.

Florida Bar Animal Law Committee Gains Section Status

The profile of animal law in Florida has received a boost with the Florida Bar approving an Animal Law Section to represent the growing specialty.


  • Court Allows Lawsuit Against FDA to Proceed

    The United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and its co-plaintiffs, denying an attempt by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to dismiss a lawsuit against the agency.
    February 23, 2021 Press Release
  • Courtroom Animal Advocate Program Bill Passes New Jersey Senate

    A Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (CAAP) bill, S.2868/A.4533, which would allow law students and volunteer lawyers to advocate for animal victims in cruelty criminal cases, unanimously passed the New Jersey Senate. The bill is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji and endorsed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
    February 19, 2021 Press Release
  • State Animal Protection Laws Ranked: Maine is #1, New Mexico #50

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, has released the 15th annual year-end U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report (2020), ranking the animal protection laws of all 50 states.  
    February 17, 2021 Press Release