The Animal Legal Defense Fund works at the federal, state and local levels to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals. This page is meant to be used as a resource to see what is happening in your state and what actions you can take for animals.
Each year, the Animal Legal Defense Fund publishes its U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report. It is the longest-running and most authoritative of its kind, assessing the strength of each state’s animal protection laws by examining over 3,400 pages of statutes. Each state is ranked based on 19 different categories of animal protection.
Overall Rank: #6 (Top Tier)
State Budget Allocates Funds for Spay, Neuter, and Vaccination Services
Amendments to Massachusetts state budget would allocate funds to the Mass Animal Fund (Fund), which provides critical animal health services—including spay and neuter surgeries and vaccinations—to animals in need.
An Act to Upgrade Hen Welfare and Establish Uniform Cage-free Standards (H.864/S.36)
Improves conditions for egg-laying hens 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
An Act Relative to the Use of Elephants, Big Cats, Primates, and Bears in Traveling Exhibits (H.3376/S.2251)
Prohibit the use of elephants, big cats, primates, giraffes, and bears in circuses and traveling shows in Massachusetts.
An Act Protecting Research Animals (H.890/H.901/S.613)
Requires dogs and cats at research institutions or product testing facilities be offered for adoption through a non-profit animal shelter or rescue or through private placement once the research ends, if a necropsy is not mandated
An Act Preventing Trafficking in Ivory and Rhino Horns (S.576/H.903)
Restricts the sale of ivory and rhino horn in Massachusetts.
An Act Prohibiting the Sale of Fur Products (H.965/S.623)
Bans the sale of new fur products, including clothing, fashion accessories, and home décor, in the Commonwealth
An Act Further Regulating the Enforcement of Illegal Hunting Practices (H.904/S.587)
Modernizes penalties for illegal hunting and enters Massachusetts in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact
An Act Relative to Protecting Animals From Abusers (H.1824/S.1111)
Bars people convicted of animal cruelty from possessing, adopting, or fostering animals for at least five years after their release from custody
Regulation enacted on December 18, 2019
In 2019, Massachusetts adopted regulations banning killing contests for certain animals, including coyotes, foxes, and bobcats.
Take action now to help animals in your state.
The Massachusetts Animal Fund provides critical animal health services, including spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations, for animals in need.
Egg-laying hens are among the most abused animals in the country yet have few legal protections. Urge your state representative to support An Act to upgrade hen welfare and establish uniform cage-free standards (S.2481), which was filed by Representative Dan Cahill and Senator Jason Lewis and passed the Senate on June 24, 2021.
An Act Relative to Protecting Animals From Abusers (H.1824/S.1111) would prohibit a person convicted of certain animal cruelty crimes — including torture, mutilation, and dogfighting — from possessing, adopting, or fostering an animal for at least five years.
Ask your state representative to co-sponsor two animal protection budget amendments.
Help stop illegal hunting and fishing in Massachusetts by urging your state legislators to co-sponsor H.904/S.587, An Act Further Regulating the Enforcement of Illegal Hunting Practices. The bills have been filed by State Senator Mike Moore and, jointly, by State Representatives Lori Ehrlich and Ann-Margaret Ferrante.
Ask your state legislators to co-sponsor HD.4206.
An Act Prohibiting the Sale of Fur Products (H.965/S.623), sponsored by Representative Jack Patrick Lewis and Senator John Velis, would ban the sale of new fur products, including clothing, fashion accessories, and home décor, in the Commonwealth.
Ask your state legislators to co-sponsor An Act Relative to the Use of Elephants, Big Cats, Primates, Giraffes, and Bears in Traveling Exhibits (H.3776/S.2251). This bill would prohibit the use of certain animals in circuses and traveling shows in Massachusetts.
Undercover investigations and whistleblowers have exposed some of the worst aspects of factory farming, but Ag-Gag laws punish people who speak out about cruelty in animal agriculture. Voice your opposition.
Puppy mill operators maximize their profits by producing large numbers of puppies as quickly as possible. As a result, unsanitary conditions, disease, and neglect are rampant. Sign our pledge to boycott puppy mills. Together we can end cruel puppy mills.
Want to take the next step in your animal advocacy? Learn the skills you need to pass laws protecting animals at the local level! Local laws are critical – not only do they help individual animals in your community but prime state legislation.
Learn how wild animals are exploited in circuses and traveling shows, and how you can help!
Learn how to fight back against the cruel fur industry by passing a fur ban in your community! Led by Animal Legal Defense Fund Campaigns Manager Elizabeth Holtz, this webinar will walk you through the mechanics of fur production, the policy issues, including animal cruelty, environmental impacts, and public health, and more.