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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Prohibits the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in retail stores.
An Act Further Regulating the Enforcement of Illegal Hunting Practices (H.4442)
Modernizes penalties for illegal hunting and enters Massachusetts in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact
An Act Protecting Research Animals (H.901)
Requires the adoption of dogs and cats ‘retired’ from laboratories at research institutions or product testing facilities under certain circumstances
Would preempt new local retail sales bans for cats and dogs and would also prohibit municipalities from enacting any further safeguards against puppy and kitten mills. (SB 994/HB 849)
An Act to Upgrade Hen Welfare and Establish Uniform Cage-free Standards (S.2481)
Improves conditions for hens used by the egg industry by mandating that they be able to engage in certain vital natural and expands coverage to hens whose eggs are used for egg products commonly used by cafeterias and fast food chains
Prohibits the sale of cosmetics that were developed or manufactured using animal tests on or after March 1, 2022 (A.795/ S.1726)
The New Jersey Humane Cosmetics Act, A.795/ S.1726, prohibits the sale of cosmetics that were developed or manufactured using animal tests on or after March 1, 2022.
State Budget Allocates Funds for Spay, Neuter, and Vaccination Services
Governor signs state budget allocating $50k to provide critical animal health services to animals in need.
Bill Would Help Protect Colorado’s Tens of Thousands of Farm Workers
Helps protect Colorado’s tens of thousands of farm workers by establishing whistleblower protections, fairer compensation for labor, and protections other workers already access through Colorado’s Labor Peace Act
State Budget Allocates Funds for Spay, Neuter, and Vaccination Services
Governor signs state budget allocating funds to provide critical animal health services—including spay and neuter surgeries and vaccinations—to animals in need.
Prohibits the manufacture or sale of cosmetics tested on animals after January 1, 2023 (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, 2023.
Mandating hens be provided cage-free environments as well as vital enrichments (AB 399)
Nevada became the 9th state to pass a hen welfare bill when Governor Steve Sisolak signed AB 399 on June 4, 2021. The Animal Legal Defense Fund was glad to assist the broad coalition of organizations supporting this bill and engage advocates in Nevada.
Requires cross-reporting of suspected abuse by child protective investigators and animal control officers (SB 96)
SB 96, sponsored by Senator Lauren Book (D-32), would require child protective investigators and animal control officers to report suspected animal and child abuse. Additionally, the bill strengthens penalties for the sexual abuse of animals.
An Act Prohibiting The Import, Sale And Possession Of African Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Black And White Rhinoceros & Giraffes
Restricts the import, possession, sale, or transportation of body parts of African elephants, lions, leopards, black rhinos, white rhinos, and giraffes in the state
An Act To Provide for the Well-being of Companion Animals upon the Dissolution of Marriages (LD 535)
Requires judges to consider the well-being of the companion animal and certain relevant factors when determining with whom the animal will live
Creates an Ag-Gag Law in Texas (HB 1480/SB 472)
HB 1480/SB 472 would create an Ag-Gag law in Texas — preventing the public from learning about animal cruelty.
Adds wildlife crimes to the list of racketeering offenses (HB 783/SB 776)
Racketeering of Aquatic and Wild Animal Life (HB 783/SB 776) would add wildlife crimes to the list of racketeering offenses, allowing further penalty to those who illegally take, kill, sell, purchase, or possess wild animals under Florida’s RICO Act.
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.
The Wildlife Conservation & Public Safety Act (SB 32)
Bans traps, snares, and poisons on public lands.
‘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
California Ecosystems Protection Act (AB 1788)
Places safeguards on the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides
The Kristin Jacobs Ocean Conservation Act (SB 680)
Limiting the sale, import, and export of shark fins
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.
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
Egg-Laying Hen Confinement Standards (HB20-1343)
Ensures hens are able to engage in vital natural behaviors
An act relating to veterinarians (SB 21)
Permits veterinarians to report suspected cruelty.
The Big Cat Public Safety Act prohibits the private ownership of big cats and makes it illegal for exhibitors to allow direct contact with cubs.
The Carriage Horse Heat Relief Bill (Intro 1425)
Prohibits carriage horses from working when the heat index is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
Bans the sale or provision of certain force-fed poultry products (Intro 1378)
Bans the sale of foie gras in New York City.
Community supervision for defendants convicted of certain criminal offenses involving animals (SB 48 and HB 91)
SB 48 and HB 91 empower judges to prohibit people convicted of animal cruelty from future contact with animals.
In 2018, Californians voted to enact Prop 12, taking another major step towards ending the intensive confinement of farmed animals.
Concerning contracts for dogs and cats (HB 1476)
Effectively ends pet leasing schemes in the state by making pet leasing contracts void and unenforceable.
Amendment 13 – public vote
Ends the greyhound racing industry in Florida — ensuring that thousands of dogs will no longer be subjected to cruelty in the name of entertainment.
Montreal SPCA v City of Montreal
In 2016, the Animal Legal Defense Fund supported the Montreal SPCA in its efforts to overturn the city’s ban on “pit bull-type dogs.”
Cownose Ray Fishery Management Plan and Moratorium on Contests (SB 143/HB 213)
Enacts a moratorium on cownose ray killing contests in Maryland.