Strengthening Laws that Protect Animals and Striking Down Laws Hurting Animals

The Animal Legal Defense Fund works at the federal, state and local levels to advance important legislation. We advocate for laws that promote or protect the lives and interests of animals, and we oppose legislation that would be detrimental to animals’ well-being.

We also work closely with the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s other programs to identify opportunities to create model legislation that address strategic legal issues in the areas of civil and criminal law, and monitor legislation that impacts animals at the federal, state, and local levels.

Federal Bills


Preventing Future Pandemics Act (Federal)

Federal Legislation
Aims to shut down commercial wildlife markets globally
White rabbit

The Humane Cosmetics Act (Federal)

Federal Legislation
Substantially restricts the use of animal testing for cosmetic products

Safe Line Speeds in COVID-19 Act (Federal)

Federal Legislation
Suspends the USDA’s authority to issue new waivers related to line speeds in slaughterhouses and suspend current waivers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Farm System Reform Act (Federal)

Federal Legislation
The Farm System Reform Act would overhaul the United States’ cruel and environmentally destructive animal agricultural industry, in part, by placing a moratorium on the largest factory farms.


State Bills


Funding Critical Health Services for Animals In Need (Massachusetts)

State Budget Allocates Funds for Spay, Neuter, and Vaccination Services
Amendments to Massachusetts state budget would allocate funds to the Mass Animal Fund (Fund), which provides critical animal health services—including spay and neuter surgeries and vaccinations—to animals in need.

Upgrading Standards for Egg-Laying Hens (Massachusetts)

An Act to Upgrade Hen Welfare and Establish Uniform Cage-free Standards (H.864/S.36)
Upgrades conditions for egg-laying hens by mandating access to enrichments that allow engagement in vital natural behaviors

Protecting Animals Used in Circuses (Massachusetts)

An Act Relative to the Use of Elephants, Big Cats, Primates, and Bears in Traveling Exhibits (H.3376/S.2251)
Prohibits the use of elephants, big cats, primates, giraffes, and bears in circuses and traveling shows in Massachusetts.

Facilitating the Adoption of Dogs and Cats Retired from Laboratories (Massachusetts)

An Act Protecting Research Animals (H.890/H.901/S.613)
Requires dogs and cats at research institutions or product testing facilities be offered for adoption through a non-profit animal shelter or rescue or through private placement once the research ends, if a necropsy is not mandated

Halting Trafficking in Ivory and Rhino Horn (Massachusetts)

An Act Preventing Trafficking in Ivory and Rhino Horns (S.576/H.903)
Restricts the sale of ivory and rhino horn in Massachusetts.

New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act (New York)

Prohibits the manufacture or sale of cosmetics tested on animals after January 1, 2022 (A.5653-A/ S.4839)
The New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act, A.5653-A/S.4839, would prohibit the manufacture or sale of most cosmetics tested on animals after January 1, 2022.


Recent Victories

The Traveling Exotic Animal Safety Protection Act (Colorado)

The Traveling Exotic Animal Safety Protection Act (Colorado)

Prohibits certain wild animals, including big cats, bears, nonhuman primates, and elephants, from being used in circuses
The Traveling Animal Protection Act bans the use of certain wild animals, including big cats, bears, nonhuman primates, and elephants, in entertainment performances in circuses and traveling shows.
Roxy’s Law (New Mexico)

Roxy’s Law (New Mexico)

The Wildlife Conservation & Public Safety Act (SB 32)
Bans traps, snares, and poisons on public lands.

Recognizing the Right of Waterways to Be Free of Pollution (Orange County, Florida)

‘Right to Clean Water Initiative,’ Charter Question 1 — Public Vote
Recognizes waterways in Orange County, Florida have a right to exist, flow, be protected against pollution, and maintain a healthy ecosystem
mountain lion

Protecting Wildlife from Harmful Poisons (California)

California Ecosystems Protection Act (AB 1788)
Places safeguards on the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides


Legislative Program Team

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