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


Ryder’s Law

Intro 573
Proposed New York City legislation will phase out and ban horse-drawn carriages in the city and replace them with horseless, electric carriages.
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.
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.

Prohibit Cat Declawing (California)

AB 2606
California could become the next state to ban 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 prevents cats from performing natural behaviors.


Recent Victories

An act to add Section 122191 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to online pet retailers
This California state bill prohibits the financing of purchases of dogs and cats, often used in the sale of animals bred in puppy or kitten mills and sold online.

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.


Legislative Program Team

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