cat at vet

Laws in favor of veterinary reporting of animal cruelty

2019 U.S. Animal Protection Laws State Rankings

Select an animal law category to view 2019 trends:
2019 Trend Report: Laws in favor of veterinary reporting of animal cruelty

2019 Trend Report: Laws in favor of veterinary reporting of animal cruelty

Laws in favor of veterinary reporting of animal cruelty

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.

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As of 2019, 19 states require veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty, and most of those states also grant civil immunity to veterinarians who report. Thirty states, either explicitly or implicitly, permit veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty. Only one state—Kentucky—actually prohibits veterinarians from reporting suspected abuse. In 2019 Florida passed a much-needed law clarifying that veterinarians may report suspected cruelty without violating confidentiality laws.

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