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.
Gescheidt v. National Park Service
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Center for Biological Diversity v. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, et. al.
An international fight to protect Pablo Escobar’s hippos from slaughter results in a U.S. federal court order recognizing animals can be “interested persons”October 20, 2021 Press Release
The USDA fought to keep the numbers hidden from public view, ultimately paying $15,000 in attorneys fees in settlementOctober 7, 2021 Press Release
An Act relative to pesticides (H.3991) would restrict the use of rat poisons (rodenticides) in Massachusetts by mandating an approach to human-animal encounters that minimizes risks to humans, wild animals, and the environment on public lands. Urge your legislators to support this bill.August 5, 2021 Action Alert