Statutes

Statute by category Citationsort descending Summary
DE - Research - Subchapter VI. Research Animal Retirement Act 16 Del.C. § 3090F - 3092F The purpose of this subchapter is to ensure that healthy cats and dogs that are no longer needed for research, education, testing, or other scientific purposes are made available for adoption instead of euthanized and to create a process for adoption through agreements with local shelters or rescue groups. When a research facility no longer needs a cat or dog that does not pose a health or safety risk to the public, the research facility shall either offer the animal to a rescue organization or shelter for adoption or offer it for adoption through private placement.
DE - Dangerous - Delaware Dangerous Dog Laws 16 Del.C. §§ 3071F to 3081F These Delaware statutes comprise the state's dangerous dog laws. Among the provisions includes the mandatory seizure of dogs who have chased or pursued persons on bicycles twice in a twelve-month period or those that have killed or inflicted serious injury on people or other domestic animals. However, no dog shall be considered dangerous or potentially dangerous if a person was, at the time the injury was sustained, committing criminal trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner of the dog, or was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime. An owner who violates the provisions regarding ownership of dangerous dogs faces graduated fines based on the conduct at issue.
US - Eagle - Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act 16 U.S.C. 668 - 668d The BGEPA prohibits any form of possession or taking of both bald and golden eagles through criminal and civil sanctions as well as an enhanced penalty provision for subsequent offenses. Further, the BGEPA provides for the forfeiture of anything used to acquire eagles in violation of the statute. The statute excepts from its prohibitions on possession the use of eagles or eagle parts for exhibition, scientific, and Indian religious uses.
US - Conservation - Fish & Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978 16 U.S.C. 742l The Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978 authorizes the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to establish, conduct, and assist with national training programs for State fish and wildlife law enforcement personnel. It also authorized funding for research and development of new or improved methods to support fish and wildlife law enforcement. The law provides authority to the Secretaries to enter into law enforcement cooperative agreements with State or other Federal agencies, and authorizes the disposal of abandoned or forfeited items under the fish, wildlife, and plant jurisdictions of these Secretaries.
US - Wildlife - Chapter 23. National Wilderness Preservation System. 16 U.S.C.A. §§ 1131 - 1136 Under this Act, Congress established a National Wilderness Preservation System to be composed of federally owned areas designated by Congress as "wilderness areas", and these shall be administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness, and so as to provide for the protection of these areas, the preservation of their wilderness character, and for the gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and enjoyment as wilderness; and no Federal lands shall be designated as "wilderness areas" except as provided for in this chapter or by a subsequent Act.
US - Sharks - Chapter 38. Fishery Conservation and Management 16 U.S.C.A. § 1857 The Shark Conservation Act of 2010 amended Sec. 1857 of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The amendment effectively closed a loophole that allowed vessels to transport illegally obtained shark fins so long as no sharks were finned aboard the vessel. The act makes it illegal to remove any of the fins of a shark (including the tail) at sea; to have custody, control, or possession of any such fin aboard a fishing vessel unless it is naturally attached to the corresponding carcass; to transfer any such fin from one vessel to another vessel at sea, or to receive any such fin in such transfer, without the fin naturally attached to the corresponding carcass; or to land any such fin that is not naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, or to land any shark carcass without such fins naturally attached. Essentially, all sharks must be brought aboard with their fins attached. There is a rebuttable presumption under the Act that if any shark fin (including the tail) is found aboard a vessel, other than a fishing vessel, without being naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, such fin was transferred in violation of the Act.
US - Whales - Whaling Convention Act 16 U.S.C.A. § 916 - 916l These federal statutes describe the Whaling Convention Act which granted authority to the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce for regulation. The Act makes it unlawful for any person in the United States to engage in whaling, transporting, or selling any whale or whale products, that are taken or processed in violation of the Act. The Act also prohibits other unlawful conduct such as whaling without a license and failing to keep required returns, records, and reports. Finally, the Act provide penalties for violations including a fine of not more than $10,000, imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. In addition the court may prohibit such person from whaling for a period of time.
US - Whales - Chapter 14A. Whale Conservation and Protection. 16 U.S.C.A. § 917 - 917d These statutes extended federal authority and responsibility over the conservation and protection of all mammals including certain species of whales. The statutes also granted the Secretary of Commerce with authority to complete a comprehensive study of all whales in an effort to conserve and protect them effectively.
US - Seal - Chapter 24. Conservation and Protection of North Pacific Fur Seals. 16 USC 1151 - 1187 The Fur Seal Act of 1966 prohibited, except under specified conditions, the taking, including transportation, importing or possession, of fur seals and sea otters. Exceptions are authorized for Indians, Aleuts, and Eskimos who dwell on the coasts of the North Pacific Ocean, who are permitted to take fur seals and dispose of their skins. The statute also authorized the Secretary of Interior to conduct scientific research on the fur seal resources of the North Pacific Ocean.
US - Horse - Wild Horses and Burros Act 16 USC 1331 - 1340 The Wild Horses and Burros Act approved December 15, 1971, provides for protection of wild, free-roaming horses and burros. It directs the Bureau of Land Management of the Department of the Interior and Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture to manage such animals on public lands under their jurisdiction.
US - Marine Mammals- Marine Mammal Protection Act 16 USC 1361 - 1421h The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) is the main regulatory vehicle that protects marine mammal species and their habitats in an effort to main sustainable populations. In doing so, the statute outlines prohibitions, required permits, criminal and civil penalties, and international aspects in addressing marine mammals. Included in the MMPA are provisions to protect dolphins from ocean vessels that harvest tuna with purse seine nets; provisions to protect polar bear; provisions that establish the Marine Mammal Commission and that agency's duties; and provisions for the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, including funding for standing response and unusual mortality events. The Act's 1972 Legislative History is also included.
US - Endangered Species - Chapter 35. Endangered Species. 16 USC 1531 - 1544 This is key law at the national level for the listing and protecting of endangered species and their critical habitat. It also implements the US obligations under the treaty CITES.
US - Fisheries - Packwood-Magnuson Amendment 16 USC 1801 - 1803 The aim of this statute is the development of United States' controlled fishing conservation and management program designed to prevent overfishing and to rebuild depleted stock.
US - Conservation - Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act 16 USC 2901 - 2912 The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, approved September 29, 1980, authorizes financial and technical assistance to the States for the development, revision, and implementation of conservation plans and programs for nongame fish and wildlife. The original Act authorized $5 million for each of Fiscal Years 1982 through 1985, for grants for development and implementation of comprehensive State nongame fish and wildlife plans and for administration of the Act. It also required the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to study potential mechanisms for funding these activities and report to Congress by March 1984.
US - Lacey Act - Chapter 53. Control of Illegally Taken Fish and Wildlife. 16 USC 3371 - 3378 The Lacey Act provides that it is unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law whether in interstate or foreign commerce. All plants or animals taken in violation of the Act are subject to forfeiture as well as all vessels, vehicles, aircraft, and other equipment used in the process.
US - Elephant - African Elephant Conservation Act 16 USC 4201 - 4246 A U.S. federal law that reaffirms the endangered status of African elephants and allocates money toward conservation efforts.
US - Elephant - Asian Elephant Conservation Act 16 USC 4261 - 4266 A U.S. federal law that reaffirms the endangered status of Asian elephants and allocates money toward conservation efforts.
US - Exotic Birds - Wild Exotic Bird Conservation Act 16 USC 4901 - 4916 The Wild Exotic Bird Conservation Act addresses the population threat to non-indigenous wild birds due to the demand the from U.S. as the number one importer of exotic birds (e.g., the "pet" bird trade). Exceptions under the statute include qualified breeding facilities, scientific or zoological study, and people returning the U.S. who have been out of the country for more than a year (limited to two birds).
US - Rhinoceros - Chapter 73. Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation. 16 USC 5301 - 5306 The purpose of the Act is to assist in the conservation of rhinoceros and tigers by supporting the conservation programs of nations whose activities affect rhinoceros and tiger populations, as well as those of the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Act also provides financial resources for those programs.
US - Apes - Great Apes Conservation Act of 2000 16 USC 6301 - 6305 The law assists in the conservation of great apes by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of countries within the range of great apes. Under the law, Great apes include the chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo, orangutan, and gibbon. The law authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, through the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, to award grants to entities that will promote the conservation of great apes in the wild. The authorization for appropriations is $5 million per year through 2005 with 3% or $80,000, whichever is greater, expended to administer the grants program.
US - Conservation - Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act 16 USC 661 - 667e The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661-667e) of 1934 authorizes the Secretaries of Agriculture and Commerce to provide assistance to and cooperate with Federal and State agencies to protect, rear, stock, and increase the supply of game and fur-bearing animals, as well as to study the effects of domestic sewage, trade wastes, and other polluting substances on wildlife. In addition, this Act authorizes the preparation of plans to protect wildlife resources, the completion of wildlife surveys on public lands, and the acceptance by the Federal agencies of funds or lands for related purposes provided that land donations received the consent of the State in which they are located.
US - Funding State - Pittman-Roberson Act (Chapter 5B. Wildlife Restoration) 16 USC 669 - 669l The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to cooperate with the States, through their respective State fish and game departments, in wildlife-restoration projects. However, no money shall be expended until the state in question assents to the provisions of this chapter and has passed laws for the conservation of wildlife, which includes a prohibition against the diversion of license fees paid by hunters for any other purpose than the administration of the fish and game department.
US - Migratory Bird - Migratory Bird Treaty Act 16 USC 703 - 712 This law implements the treaties that the US has signed with a number of countries protecting birds that migrate across our national borders. It makes illegal the taking, possessing or selling of protected species.
US - Migratory - Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act 16 USC 718 - 718k The Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, or the "Duck Stamp Act," as this March 16, 1934, authority is commonly called, requires each waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older to possess a valid Federal hunting stamp. Receipts from the sale of the stamp are deposited in a special Treasury account known as the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund and are not subject to appropriations. A contest is held each year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to select the design of the stamp.
US - Conservation - Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 16 USC 742a - 742j The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a-742j, not including 742 d-l; 70 Stat. 1119), establishes a comprehensive national fish, shellfish, and wildlife resources policy with emphasis on the commercial fishing industry but also with a direction to administer the Act with regard to the inherent right of every citizen and resident to fish for pleasure, enjoyment, and betterment and to maintain and increase public opportunities for recreational use of fish and wildlife resources. Among other things, it directs a program of continuing research, extension, and information services on fish and wildlife matters, both domestically and internationally.
US - Hunting - Airborne Hunting Act 16 USC 742j-1 This Act approved November 18, 1971 added to the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 a new section 13 (16 U.S.C. 742j-l), which is commonly referred to as the Airborne Hunting Act or Shooting from Aircraft Act, prohibits shooting or attempting to shoot or harassing any bird, fish, or other animal from aircraft except for certain specified reasons, including protection of wildlife, livestock, and human life as authorized by a Federal or State issued license or permit. States authorized to issue permits are required to file reports with the Secretary of the Interior containing information on any permits issued.
US - Invasive - Chapter 67. Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control 16 USCS 4701 - 4751 The Act focuses on all aquatics, including aquatic plants. The Act created the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, which is an intergovernmental organization, administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service, committed to preventing and controlling aquatic nuisance species and implementing the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act. The Task Force coordinates Federal governmental efforts dealing with aquatic nuisance species with those of state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector.
VT - Education - § 912. Student's right of refusal; animal dissection 16 V.S.A. § 912 This Vermont law gives a student in a public elementary or secondary school (or approved independent school) a right to be excused from lessons requiring a student to dissect, vivisect, or otherwise destroy an animal, or observe any of these activities. Each school district must establish procedures for a student to exercise this right and alternatives methods of learning the material covered. School districts must also adopt a statement that no student shall be discriminated against based on his or her decision to exercise the right to be excused afforded by this section.
ME - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws 17 M. R. S. A. § 1311 - 1316; 26 M. R. S. A. § 1420-A - 1420C; 7 M. R. S. A. § 3961-A; 5 M. R. S. A. § 4551 - 4555, 4582-A, 4592; 14 M. R. S. A. § 6030-G; 14 M. R. S. A. § 164-B The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.
ME - Food Service - § 3966. Animals in food stores. 17 M.R.S.A. § 3966 In Maine, it is unlawful for any persons to bring an animal into a store where food is sold for human consumption or into a restaurant where food is prepared and served. This statute does not apply to a person who requires a service animal.
IN - Cattle Slaughter - SIKKIM PREVENTION OF COW SLAUGHTER ACT, 2017 17 of 2017 This law, specific to the North Eastern state of Sikkim, prohibits the slaughter of cows and their female progeny. 'Cows' under this Act refer to milking cows, dry cows, heifers and calves. Cows may not be slaughtered unless a certificate in writing is obtained from the Competent Authority. Persons slaughtering cows without obtaining a certificate shall be imprisoned and fined.
PA - Ecoterrorism - § 3311. Ecoterrorism 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3309 - 3311; 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8319 This collective set of laws comprises Pennsylvania's ecoterrorim and agroterrorism provisions. The state has an agricultural vandalism law (misdemeanor or felony, depending on pecuniary loss) and law prohibiting the destruction of agricultural crops (felony). A person is guilty of ecoterrorism if the person commits a specified offense against property by: intimidating or coercing a person participating in an activity involving animals, plants, or natural resources; or preventing or obstructing a person involved in such an activity. The law has a provision that states a person who is on public property, or on private property with permission, and is peaceable exercising his or her constitutional rights is immune from prosecution and from civil liability under Pa.C.S. Sec. 8319.
PA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5531 - 5561; 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3129; 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8340.3 This document contains Pennsylvania's anti-cruelty laws that were amended in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, the state added a rescue and immunity provision for dogs and cats in "hot cars." Section 5532 covers neglect of animal and states that a person who has care of animal must provide: (1) necessary sustenance and potable water; (2) access to clean and sanitary shelter and protection from the weather; and (3) necessary veterinary care. Violation is a summary offense unless the violation causes bodily injury or puts the animal in imminent danger of bodily injury (then, it is a misdemeanor of third degree). A person commits cruelty to animals (Sec. 5533) if he or she intentionally, knowingly or recklessly illtreats, overloads, beats, abandons or abuses an animal. Aggravated cruelty is provided by Sec. 5534 and is defined as torture, or neglect or cruelty that causes serious bodily injury or death of an animal. Such conduct is a felony of the third degree. Another section creates legal presumptions with regard to tethering of a dog that relate to the length of time tethered, the type of collar/tether, and even the outside temperature (both low and high temperatures). Section 5539 makes it unlawful to transport an equine animal in or upon a vehicle with two or more levels stacked on top of one another. The state also prohibits the cropping of dogs' ears, debarking of dogs, docking of dogs' tails, performance of surgical births of dogs, and declawing of cats by persons other than veterinary doctors while the animals are anesthetized. Animal fighting is prohibited in the chapter as a felony of the third degree. Other provisions concern selling of dog and cat pelts, live animals as prizes, and harassment of service and police animals. Exemptions under the act include state game/hunting laws, the killing of a dog or cat in accordance with the Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law, the killing of an animal found pursuing domestic animals/fowl, destruction of public nuisance dogs, pest control, "[s]hooting activities not otherwise prohibited under this subchapter," and the authorized use of research animals.
PA - Cruelty - § 5536. Tethering of unattended dog 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5536 This statute describes specific circumstances under which the tethering of an unattended dog outdoors may create a rebuttable presumption that the dog has been neglected. A dog tethered for less than nine hours in a 24-hour period with potable water, an area of shade, a tether at least three times the length of the dog with a swivel anchor and a well-fitted collar is not presumed to be neglect, unless tethered for more than a half hour in temperatures above 90 degrees or below 32 degrees. The statute is effective as of August 2017.
PA - Hunting, Internet - § 7641. Computer-assisted remote harvesting of animals 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7641 This statute prohibits computer-assisted remote hunting and the operation of computer assisted hunting facilities in the state of Pennsylvania. Violation is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
US - Cruelty - § 48. Animal crush videos 18 U.S.C.A. § 48 This federal law was amended in November 2019 to expand its prohibition on "animal crush videos" to "crushing" that affects interstate or foreign commerce or occurs within the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. "Crushing" is defined as "actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 and including conduct that, if committed against a person and in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, would violate section 2241 or 2242." Exceptions exist for things like veterinary care, animal husbandry, animal slaughter, hunting and fishing, medical or scientific research, personal protection, and animal euthanasia. Violation incurs a fine or imprisonment for not more than 7 years or both fine and imprisonment.
US - Importation - Fraud and False Statements 18 USC § 1001 Under this federal law, fraudulent statements, orally or in writing, may result in a fine and or imprisonment.
US - Lacey Act - Conspiracy Statute 18 USC § 371 If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.
US - Crimes - Chapter 3. Animals, Birds, Fish, and Plants. 18 USCA § 43 This federal law provides for crime and penalties for animal enterprise terrorism.
US - Smuggling - § 545. Smuggling goods into the United States 18 USCA § 545 This federal law provides punishment for smuggling merchandise (including animals) into the United States.
US - Importation - Mailing of Injurious Article 18 USCS § 1716 All kinds of poison, all articles and compositions containing poison, all poisonous animals, insects, reptiles, all explosives, inflammable materials, infernal machines, and mechanical, chemical, or other devices or compositions which may ignite or explode, all disease germs or scabs, and all other natural or artificial articles, compositions, or material which may kill or injure another, or injure the mails or other property, whether or not sealed as first-class matter, are nonmailable matter and shall not be conveyed in the mails or delivered from any post office or station thereof, nor by any officer or employee of the Postal Service.
US - Importation - CHAPTER 3. ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND PLANTS 18 USCS § 42 Under this federal law, no importation of certain listed animals is permitted. Whoever violates this section, or any regulation issued pursuant thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
ME - Pet Trusts - Chapter 4. Creation, Validity, Modification and Termination of Trust. 18-B M. R. S. A. § 408 This statute represents Maine's pet trust law. The provides that a trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlor's lifetime, upon the death of the last surviving animal. The comment following the text of the statute clarifies what types of animal-related activities qualify as non-charitable versus charitable trusts.
Maine: An Act against Sodomy and Bestiality. 1821 Me. Laws 5. An Act concerning the punishment for Sodomy and Bestiality for Maine in 1821.
Vermont Laws: Act 34: 1846 1846 Vt. Acts & Resolves 34 Act 34 from 1846 concerns the amendment of the statute entitled "Offences against private property." Specifically, the act concerns the statutes that covers cruelty to animals and larceny of animals.
Vermont Law 1854-1855: Cruelty to Animals 1854 Vt. Acts & Resolves 51.1 This document contains Vermont's anti-cruelty law from 1854.
Pennsylvania Law of Session of 1860: Cruelty to Animals 1860 Pa. Laws 46 Section 46 of Pennsylvania Session Law from 1860 covers cruelty to animals. The section describes what is cruelty to animal and the punishment for it.
Illinois 1869: Cruelty to Animals Statute 1869 Ill. Laws 3 Historical Law: The first part of this Statute details the incorporation of the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  The second part of the statute describes various laws concerning the treatment of animals.
Rhode Island Public Laws 1857-1872: Chapter 912: An act for the prevention of cruelty to animals. 1872 R.I. Pub. Laws 912 A collection of the laws concerning cruelty to animals from Rhode Island for the years 1857-1872. The act covers such topics as bird fighting, cruelty to animals, enforcement of the act, and procedural issues concerning the act.
New Hampshire General Laws 1878: Trespasses, Malicious Acts, etc. 1878 N.H. Laws 281 The New Hampshire session laws from 1878, chapter 281, covers the state's cruelty to animals laws. Specifically, the law covers cruelty to animals and the treatment of animals during transportation.

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