ALDF's 2012 Compendium of Animal Protection Laws and the Animal Bill of Rights
An Animal Rights Article from


Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)
November 2012

See Animal Protection Laws of the United States of America & Canada, Seventh Edition, 2012 (downloadable PDF)

With this compendium, attorneys, law students, animal law instructors, and grassroots animal rights advocates can easily research animal protection laws. By simply clicking on a state, readers can find information about animal law, including classification of crimes, exemptions, protective orders, law enforcement policies, restitution, seizure, and so much more. This well researched compendium even provides fully searchable content and the full-text of all referenced statutes in animal law.

When we hear about animal cruelty cases, we may want to believe these stories are unusual—but across North America, animals are being routinely exploited - for our entertainment (in movies, theme parks, and rodeos), for our experiments (unnecessary and cruel), for our food (farmed animals deprived of basic physiological needs and subjected to horrific, unimaginable cruelty). Even a quick look at ALDF's Animal Law Compendium demonstrates just how much animals need legal protection.

Why Are Animal Rights Important?

In the United States, our "rights" are a point of pride. Why don't animals have rights, too?

The Animal Legal Defense Fund advocates for animals to receive the full protection of the law as a right. Without legal protection, animals are defenseless against exploitation and abuse by humans. From the shameful treatment of exotic animals - like Ben the Bear and Tony the Tiger - who have been imprisoned in roadside cages, to wildlife who are penned, hounded, trapped, shot, and terrorized, to the dogs savagely torn apart for profit in dogfighting rings, to puppies treated like disposable machines in puppy mills, to ducks force-fed to the point of disease so people can eat gourmet treats, to the animals confined by hoarders in the most horrifying of conditions.

The Animal Bill of Rights

That is why ALDF urges you to sign the Animal Bill of Rights and encourage your representatives to pass legislation that gives animals the rights they deserve:

  • The Right of animals to be free from exploitation, cruelty, neglect, and abuse.
  • The Right of laboratory animals not to be used in cruel or unnecessary experiments.
  • The Right of farm animals to an environment that satisfies their basic physical and psychological needs.
  • The Right of companion animals to a healthy diet, protective shelter, and adequate medical care.
  • The Right of wildlife to a natural habitat, ecologically sufficient to a normal existence and self-sustaining species population.
  • The Right of animals to have their interests represented in court and safeguarded by the law of the land.

When you sign the Animal Bill of Rights, you can also alert your Congressional representatives with just a click that you support stronger laws to protect animals. More than a quarter of a million Americans have signed ALDF's petition.

Please join them and take action for animals today and sign the Animal Bill of Rights.

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