State and Local

Animal welfare legislation has been in place since the early 1600’s when the puritans were settling in the New England colonies. Over 200 years later, in 1828, New York became the first state to pass an animal anti-cruelty law (N.Y. Revised Statutes 1829, Title 6 Section 26) and then many of the other states followed suite a few years after. Since then, all states have established their own animal welfare and anti-cruelty laws in addition to the current federal laws. Use the resources below to learn about state laws related to animal cruelty, slaughter, euthanasia, imports, sale of pets, farm animal confinement, and more!

National Agricultural Law Center.

Provides a clickable map of the United States with information on each state's animal cruelty laws.

Michigan State University College of Law. Animal Legal & Historical Center.

In addition to the Federal Humane Slaughter Act, many states have instituted humane slaughter laws.

Cornell University School of Law.

Topical list of state statutes available on the internet.

Michigan State University. College of Law. Animal Legal & Historical Center.

Provides an overview of retail pet store laws and table of state laws with pet store/pet purchaser protection acts (puppy lemon laws).

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

A summary of statutory and regulatory provisions addressing the euthanasia of companion animals.

Michigan State University College of Law, Animal Legal & Historical Center

The table shows different categories for types of laws dealing with assistance animals by state with links to those laws.

National Agricultural Law Center.

Provides easy and free access to the farm animal confinement statutes in each state. On the map, just click the state you want to learn about!

Veterinary Compliance Assistance - VetCA

The animal carcass disposal state resource locator tool contains links to regulatory agencies and rules covering topics such as approved types of disposal and emergency management.

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