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


State Bills


Banning Killing Contests (New Jersey)

Prohibits harassing or killing certain wildlife species at competitive events (S.1176 / A.1365)
S.1176/A.1365, championed by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-5) and Assembly Member Daniel Benson (D-14), would prohibit harassing or killing certain wildlife at competitive events.

Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (Florida)

Courtroom Animal Advocates (S. 1048)
Courtroom Animal Advocate Program (CAAP) laws allow advocates — supervised law students or volunteer lawyers — to advocate for animal victims in criminal cruelty cases.
dog and cat

Animal Possession Ban (Massachusetts)

An Act relative to the ownership of pets by convicted animal abusers (S.2494)
Bars people convicted of animal cruelty from possessing, adopting, or fostering animals for at least five years after their release from custody.
Dogs in Hot Cars (New Jersey)

Dogs in Hot Cars (New Jersey)

Protecting Good Samaritans Who Rescue Dogs in Hot Cars (S.1175/A.4540)
Provides civil and criminal immunity to people who in good faith rescue an animal from a motor vehicle under dangerous conditions.


Recent Victories

mountain lion

Protecting Wildlife from Harmful Poisons (California)

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

Ending the Shark Fin Trade (Florida)

The Kristin Jacobs Ocean Conservation Act (SB 680)
Limiting the sale, import, and export of shark fins

Strengthening the State’s Retail Pet Sale Ban (California)

Bella’s Act (AB 2152)
Bella’s Act, AB 2152, strengthens California’s retail pet sale ban and helps ensure pet stores do not profit off animals bred in mills.
Updating Iowa’s Animal Protection Laws (Iowa)

Updating Iowa’s Animal Protection Laws (Iowa)

An Act relating to the regulation of persons involved with animals other than livestock and certain wild animals (HF 737)
Overhauls Iowa’s badly outdated animal protection laws


Legislative Program Team

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