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 territory and what actions you can take for animals.
State and Territory 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 or territory’s animal protection laws by examining over 3,400 pages of statutes. Each state or territory is ranked based on 19 different categories of animal protection.
District of Columbia
Overall Rank: #1 (Top Tier)
- +Wide range of care standards/requirements including food, water, shelter, care, and space, and standards are well-defined
- +Other agencies or departments have a duty to report suspected animal cruelty
- +Protection orders may include animals
- -No prohibition of sexual assault of animals
- -Veterinarians are not required to report suspected animal cruelty and do not have immunity for doing so
The Animal Legal Defense Fund and coalition partners have petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rescind a 16-year-old agreement not to enforce clean air regulations and public disclosure requirements related to air emissions for thousands of factory farms.
Animal Legal Defense Fund v Hormel Foods Corporation
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against Hormel Foods Corporation alleging the company is misleading consumers through the advertising of its Natural Choice® brand of lunch meats and bacon.
Organic Consumers Association v Handsome Brook Farm
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against Handsome Brook Farm. The lawsuit alleged Handsome Brook Farm was selling eggs labeled as “pasture raised” that fell far short of consumer expectations — thus violating the D.C. Consumers Protection Act.
Take action now to help animals in your territory.
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.