Animals need access to the full range of their habitats.
Wild animals enjoy few legal protections under either state or local laws.
At both the state and federal level, the key laws protecting wildlife are those governing when and where hunting is permitted. Some states have also begun also to prosecute people who commit acts of cruelty against wild animals.
A handful of other federal wildlife laws are in effect. These include the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. But these laws protect only a small number of animals, and even for these animals the protections are not robust.
Wild animals experience pain and pleasure just the same as the dogs and cats who share our homes, and who enjoy far more expansive legal protections. Wild animals also play a key role in our environment and ecosystem. And they are affected by all facets of human behavior: where we build, and what we do on developed land. Factory farming not only affects the lives of the 9 billion animals a year who are raised for food, but also the wild animals who drink from bodies of water and live on the land polluted by these agricultural activities.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is dedicated to pursuing better legal protection for wildlife.
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States of America
Filed Complaint with the Minnesota Board of Dentistry
Winter v. Natural Resource Defense Council
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to weigh in on laws related to construction of a U.S. – Mexico border wall. Construction will impact thousands of animals, including dozens of endangered species.December 3, 2018 News
Building Successful Animal Cruelty Cases from the Crime Scene to Court Room: Training Washington State Law Enforcement Officers and ProsecutorsLaw enforcement officers and prosecutors who respond to crimes face a host of challenges. From neglected cows who are unable to testify, to dog fighting ‘evidence’ having puppies, the unexpected is a matter of course in the struggle against animal cruelty.November 7, 2018 News
The Animal Legal Defense Fund and the American Wild Horse Campaign have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the U.S. Forest Service's plans to round up and sell horses living in the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in northeast California.October 26, 2018 News