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


Goldie’s Act (Federal)

Amend the AWA to increase USDA enforcement of violations
Named for a golden retriever, Goldie’s Act would amend the AWA to require the USDA enforce strengthened regulations set forth in the proposed bill.
White rabbit

The Humane Cosmetics Act (Federal)

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

The Healthy Future Students and Earth Act Would Expand Student Access to Healthful Foods

Federal Legislation
The Healthy Future Students and Earth Act would provide grant funding to schools wishing to expand student access to these plant-based food options.

Oppose: The EATS Act Would Undermine State Farmed Animal Protection Laws

Federal Legislation
The EATS Act would undermine states’ ability to enact laws affecting agricultural practices, jeopardizing numerous state-level farmed animal protection laws.


State Bills

kittens in carrier

Recognizing Animal Sentience (New York City)

City Council Resolution 260
New York City Resolution 260 will officially recognize “that animals are sentient beings entitled to respect and consideration, protection from abuse, neglect and cruelty, and the maximization of their welfare.”

Animal Care and Control Omnibus Amendment Act of 2021 (Washington, D.C.)

Bill 24-0560
Bill would implement a retail pet sale ban in Washington, D.C.; prohibit cat declawing in the District; criminalize the sexual abuse of animals; ban the possession of dogfighting implements; and make additional improvements for animals.
Banning Cat Declawing (Delaware)

Banning Cat Declawing (Delaware)

H.B. 333
Delaware lawmakers are considering banning cat declawing, a surgical procedure in which all or part of the last bone in a cat’s toes is amputated. It can have lifelong medical implications and stops a cat from exhibiting natural behaviors.

Prohibiting Landlords from Requiring Cat Declawing (Delaware)

H.B. 386
As the law stands now in Delaware, landlords may require a tenant to declaw a cat as a condition for entering into or renewing a rental agreement. If House Bill 386 is enacted, it would prohibit landlords from imposing this requirement.

The Izzy the Cat Act (Delaware)

S.B. 258/S.S. 1
When a companion animal is harmed by another person’s actions, Delaware law currently limits monetary damages to the animal’s “fair market value.” A new bill would instead allow the animal’s guardian to recoup the cost of veterinary care.
black bear

An Act Concerning the Feeding of Black Bear (New Jersey)

This important “Bear Smart” bill aims to protect black bears in New Jersey by preventing unintentional feeding, a root cause of human-bear interactions.


Recent Victories


Cat Declawing Ban (Maryland)

SB 67/HB 22
Maryland has become the second U.S. state to ban declawing, a surgical procedure in which all or part of the last bone in a cat’s toes is amputated. Declawing can have lifelong medical implications and adversely affect behavior.

Protecting Chickens from Extreme Confinement (Arizona)

Three humane reforms for hens in the egg industry
Chickens are among the most abused animals, yet have few legal protections. Now, Arizona’s Department of Agriculture has established regulations protecting hens used by the egg industry from the cruelest form of intensive confinement.

Strengthening Protections Against the Sexual Abuse of Animals (Florida)

S.B. 1798
Florida lawmakers have passed a bill strengthening penalties for the sexual abuse of animals as well as imposing a possession ban on those convicted, limiting their future interactions with animals.
law enforcement dog

Provide Funding for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs’ Veterinary Care (Florida)

Florida’s Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program Act would provide funding for retired law enforcement dogs’ vet care
The Care for Retired Law Enforcement Dogs Program Act would create a program to provide funding for the veterinary care of dogs formerly used in law enforcement. (H.B. 25/S.B. 226)


Legislative Program Team

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