cat at vet

Laws in favor of veterinary reporting of animal cruelty

2020 U.S. Animal Protection Laws State Rankings

Select an animal law category to view 2020 trends:

Veterinary Reporting of Animal Cruelty

◼︎ Mandatory ◼︎ Permissive

It is crucial that the law empower veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty when they encounter signs of abuse in their practice. Not only are veterinarians often the only witnesses to animal abuse, but they are uniquely qualified to identify the signs of cruelty.



As of 2020, 19 states require veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty, and most of those states also grant civil immunity to veterinarians who report. Thirty-one states, either explicitly or implicitly, permit veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty. Until 2020, Kentucky was the only state that actually prohibited veterinarians from reporting suspected animal cruelty. However that issue was remedied with the passage of Senate Bill 21, which empowers veterinarians to report suspected abuse and gives them civil immunity for doing so.

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