Rhode Island

Updates about legal issues facing animals in the state

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.

State Rankings

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.

Rhode Island
Overall Rank: #5 (Top Tier)

  • +Mandatory post-conviction possession bans
  • +Veterinarians must report suspected animal cruelty, and have immunity for doing so
  • +Felony provisions for cruelty, neglect, abandonment, fighting, and sexual assault of animals
  • -Other agencies or departments are not required to report suspected animal cruelty
  • -Sexual assault of animals statute is poorly defined

Active Legislation

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Banning the Sale of Foie Gras (Rhode Island)

Force-Fed Poultry Products Act (SB 471/HB 5731)
Prohibits restaurants and retailers from selling any force-fed poultry product or food containing a force-fed poultry product.
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Banning the sale of fur (Rhode Island)

An Act Relating to Criminal Offenses – Trade in Animal Fur Act (HB 5188)
HB 5188, introduced by Representatives Patricia Serpa (D-27), Robert Phillips (D-51), and Steven Lima (D-49), bans the sale of new fur products in Rhode Island, reducing the demand driving the fur industry.

Active Cases

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Recent Victories

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Take Action

Take action now to help animals in your own state.

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Rhode Island: Ban Foie Gras Sales!

The Rhode Island Legislature is considering the Force-Fed Poultry Products Act (SB 471/HB 5731) which would prohibit restaurants and retailers from selling any force-fed poultry product or food containing a force-fed poultry product.
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Rhode Island: Urge the Senate to Protect Animals Killed for Their Fur

In Rhode Island a bill to ban the sale of new fur products, including clothing and fashion accessories, (HB 5188 A) has passed the House and is being considered by the Senate.
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Stop Ag-Gag Laws

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.
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No More Puppy Mills

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.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals

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.
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Prohibiting Circuses and Traveling Shows that Exploit Animals

Learn how wild animals are exploited in circuses and traveling shows, and how you can help!
Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

Using Local Legislation to Protect Animals: Fur Bans

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.