The United States Congress began passing federal laws in the late 1800's to protect the welfare of animals and prevent animal cruelty. This page highlights a variety of animal welfare legislation passed by Congress. Click on the different laws below to view historical and current legislation, their amendments and regulations, as well as other informational resources. All of these laws are enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Use this site to locate, view, and comment on regulations and other actions for all Federal agencies, including Federal Register notices published by USDA, APHIS.

Government Printing Office.

Access to information submitted by Congress and Federal agencies. Some of the GovInfo collections include the Federal Register (1994 to present), Congressional Record (1994-present), and Congressional bills and hearings.

Library of Congress.

Legislative information from the current Congress and archived information from the 101st Congress forward. Also provides access to the Congressional Record and the U.S. Code.

DOJ. ENRD. Animal Welfare Litigation Program.

Together with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, ENRD lawyers are working to ensure that full effect is given to the federal statutes and enforcement regimes that provide for the humane treatment of captive, farmed, and companion animals across the United States.

National Institutes of Health, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare 

Whenever U.S. Government agencies develop requirements for testing, research, or training procedures involving the use of vertebrate animals, the following principles shall be considered; and whenever these agencies actually perform or sponsor such procedures, the responsible Institutional Official shall ensure that these principles are adhered to.