Vol. 12, No. 5, February 2010 

Animal Law

[Updated 7/9/12]


Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)

Founded in 1979, the Animal Legal Defense Fund fights "to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system." To achieve its mission ALDF files lawsuits, provides free legal advice to prosecutors of animal cruelty cases, works to strengthen anti-cruelty statutes, and provide public education. This website has a link for "current cases," a "resource" link that offers advice on such topics as "what to do when your companion animal has been harmed," and a very rich link to "research and reports" (go to "resources," "laws and cases"), where you can download a free copy of Animal Protection Laws of the United States of America and Canada.

Animal Law Coalition (ALC)

ALC is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to advocate for animals to live free of cruelty and neglect. To implement this goal, ALC strives to (1) act as a current awareness tool for advocates, lawyers and the public, (2) draft legislation, (3) lobby, and (4) support litigation that advance its goals. This site has a good link for keeping abreast of legislative initiatives across the country ("pending animal bills"), and interesting material behind the "articles" link.

Animal Law Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA)

The ABA's Animal Law Committee addresses all issues concerning animals and law, including estate planning for companion animals, liability standards and insurance coverage for when an animal causes harm, appropriate compensation when an animal is killed or injured, and expanding notions of what constitutes cruelty to animals, among other emerging topics. The Committee has its 09-10 Annual Reportonline via a link on the right-hand side of the home page, which can give one a good idea of what this Committee does. Also of interest is a listing of podcasts that are available free on topics such as "Estate Planning for Pets," and "Forging a Career in the Practice of Animal Law."

International Institute for Animal Law

This website is maintained in part by law students at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. In addition to a useful Bibliography of Animal Law Resources, which is updated quarterly, the site also provides suggested model laws covering topics as diverse as canned hunts and the protection of animals as part of domestic abuse procedures. In the interests of full disclosure, the website is sponsored by the National Anti-Vivisection Society.

Animal Welfare Information Center - Sponsored by the National Agricultural Library

Everything you wanted to know about The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) including its legislative and amendment history. Signed into law in 1966, the AWA is the only federal law regulating the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. There is a link to Animal Care Policy Manual as well as one to a Congressional Research Service report on The Animal Welfare Act: Background and Selected Legislation. A navigation bar on the left permits searching by various topics such as research animals, farm animals, and companion animals, inter alia.


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