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Animal Law Research Guide: Primary Sources

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Finding Federal Statutes

Animal Law Resource Center (National Anti-Vivisection Society)

  • A database of state and federal animal law statutes, including the ability to narrow searches by particular keywords or categories (such as "animals in research," "wildlife," "agriculture," etc.).

Animal Legal & Historical Center (Michigan State University)

  • A database featuring federal and state animal law statutes, regulations, cases, and local ordinances. To find most federal animal law statutes, select the "Search Materials" tab at the top of the page, then limit "Legal Material Type" to Statutes, "Country" to United States, and "State/Federal" to Federal.

Brief Summaries of Federal Animal Protection Statutes, by Vivian S. Chu (Congressional Research Service Report, 2010).

  • A report comprehensively listing federal animal protection statutes (includes citations and summaries). Please note that this resource has not been updated since 2010.

Finding Federal Regulations

Relevant federal regulations can be found in the following titles of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR):

This page from the National Agricultural Law Center highlights major animal welfare regulations, with citations to the CFR (refer to the "Regulations" heading).

Finding State Law

Animal Welfare 50 State Survey (HeinOnline)

  • A survey highlighting pet trust, animal abuse, and animal fighting laws in all 50 states.

State Law Clearinghouse (National Agricultural Law Center)

  • A topical Arrangement of state laws on agricultural and animal issues.

State Animal Protection Law Rankings (Animal Legal Defense Fund)

  • The Animal Legal Defense Fund's state-by-state rankings of animal protection laws. Use the map on this page to jump to compendiums listing each state's animal protection laws.

State Law Summaries of Private Possession of Exotic Animals (Born Free USA)

  • An alphabetical listing by state of laws governing exotic animal ownership.  Last updated in 2016.

Animal Legal & Historical Center (Michigan State University)

  • A database featuring federal and state animal law statutes, regulations, cases, and local ordinances. To find state animal law statutes, select the "Search Materials" tab at the top of the page, then limit "Legal Material Type" to Statutes, "Country" to United States, and "State/Federal" to your state of interest.'
  • Use the Maps of U.S. Laws as a shortcut to compare select animal laws across states.

Oregon Animal Cruelty Laws Handbook (Oregon Humane Society)

  • An annually published list of Oregon animal cruelty statutes.

Finding Case Law

Animal Welfare Cases (National Agricultural Law Center)

  • A list of major federal and state cases addressing animal welfare issues.

Multistate Animal Law Cases (Westlaw)

  • A database featuring animal law cases from all state courts.

Animal Legal & Historical Center (Michigan State University)

  • A database featuring federal and state animal law statutes, regulations, cases, and local ordinances. To find animal law cases, select the "Search Materials" tab at the top of the page, then limit "Legal Material Type" to Cases.

Refer to UCLA Law Library's Animal Law Research Guide for a list of West Key Numbers associated with animal law issues. Key Numbers are a classification system Westlaw uses to organize cases by subject matter. Use the Key Number search page to find cases addressing particular animal law issues.

Keeping Current

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