Statutes

Statute by category Citationsort descending Summary
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

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.

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. § 8319.

PA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5531 - 5561; 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3129 This document contains Pennsylvania's anti-cruelty laws that were amended in 2017. 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 prohibits the creation and distribution of "animal crush videos." Violation incurs a fine and imprisonment of up to 7 years. Exceptions under the law include normal veterinary or agricultural husbandry practices, the slaughter of animals for food, and the practices of hunting, fishing, or trapping.

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

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. 

Maine Laws: Chapter 182 'Lands reserved for public uses.' 1883 Me. Laws 182

The act concerns the allocation of land for the public use within a township.

Decreto 141, 1975 188514 Approves and adopts the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), ratified in Washington, March 3, 1973.
Maryland General Laws Supplement 1890-1898: Cruelty to Animals 1890 Md. Laws 142,198,340

The Maryland General Laws supplement covers the additions to the Cruelty of Animals statutes for Maryland from 1890-1898.  The amendments cover court procedure  to implementation of specific laws for certain animals.

US - Fur, dog and cat fur products - Chapter 4. Tariff Act of 1930. 19 U.S.C.A. § 1308

This federal statute prohibits commerce in dog or cat fur.  Specifically, the statute forbids import into, or export from, the United States of any dog or cat fur product; or the introduction into interstate commerce, manufacture for introduction into interstate commerce, sell, trade, or advertise in interstate commerce, offer to sell, or transport or distribute in interstate commerce in the United States, any dog or cat fur product.  The exception under the act is for the importation, exportation, or transportation, for noncommercial purposes, of a personal pet that is deceased, including a pet preserved through taxidermy.

US - Trade - Tariff Act of 1930 19 USCA § 1481

This federal law outlines the requirements for importation invoices.

ME - Domestic Violence- Title 19-A. Domestic Relations. 19-A M.R.S.A. §§ 4006, 4007

This Maine law concerning personal protection orders in cases of abuse was amended in March of 2006 to include companion animals in protection orders.  The new language specifies that a court may enter an order directing the care, custody or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household. In 2013, the statute was amended to allow the court to enter an order directing the defendant to refrain from injuring or threatening to injure any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household.

CA - Historical - Statutes of 1900: Sections 597-599c 1900 Cal. Stat. §§ 597 - 599c

The General Laws of California from 1900 covers such sections concerning: Cruelty to Animals, Poisoning of Cattle, killing of birds in cemeteries and killing of gulls or cranes.  The Cruelty to Animal section describes laws concerning horses, abandoned animal, torture and maiming of animals, use of animals in fights, and arrest without warrants.  In addition, the section covers evidence, stallions, and impounding without food and water.  The section about the killing of birds in the cemetery concerns also killing and detaining of homing pigeons.  The last section about killing of gulls and cranes also concerns the destruction of eggs and nests. 

UK - Cruelty - Protection of Animals Act 1911 1911 Ch 27

For historical purposes only. Law has been repealed and/or replaced. The main piece of anti-cruelty legislation applicable to England and Wales. The law was replaced by the 2006 Amendments to this Act.

UK - Circus - Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925 1925 CHAPTER 38

The Performing Animals Act 1925 requires any person who exhibits or trains any performing (vertebrate) animal to be registered with a local authority. This information is kept in the local register. The law also gives power to local authorities to prohibit animal training or exhibition where it is accompanied by cruelty.  Any officer of a local authority duly authorised in that behalf by the local authority and any constable may inspect performance premises during reasonable hours. Failure to become properly registered or concealing an animal to avoid inspection makes a person guilty of an offence.

UK - Fighting - Cockfighting Act 1952 1952 c.52

For historical purposes only. Law has been repealed and/or replaced. The Cockfighting Act, 1952 makes it unlawful to have possession of any instrument or appliance designed or adapted for use in connection with the fighting of a domestic fowl. A person guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to a fine not exceeding twenty-five pounds, or to both such imprisonment and such fine.

UK - Welfare - Protection of Animals (Anaesthetics) Act 1954 1954 c. 46

For historical purposes only. Law has been repealed and/or replaced. An Act to extend the provisions of the Protection of Animals Acts in relation to the performance of operations on animals. The statute provides a list of operations that may only be performed with the use of anaesthetic.

UK - Pets - Abandonment of Animals Act 1960 1960 c. 43

For historical purposes only. Law has been repealed and/or replaced. An Act to prohibit the abandonment of animals in circumstances likely to cause unnecessary suffering thereto.

UK - Boarding - Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 1963 c. 43

The 1963 Animal Boarding Establishments Act deals with places where the boarding of animals is being carried on as a business. This act requires such establishments to be licensed by the local authority. The act defines "boarding establishments" as those premises, including private dwellings, where the business consists of providing accommodation for other people’s cats and dogs. When deciding to issue a license, the local authority shall consider the suitability of the conditions (e.g., size of quarters, lighting, food, water, disease control, etc.) present at the boarding establishment.

UK - Welfare - Protection of Animals (Anaesthetics) Act 1964 1964 c. 39

For historical purposes only. Law has been repealed and/or replaced. An Act to amend the Protection of Animals (Anaesthetics) Act 1954.

US - AWA - 1966 Public Law 89-544 1966 PL 89-544

As stated in Senate Report No. 1280 there were three main purposes for the proposed law in 1966: (1) to protect the owners of pet dogs and cats from the theft of their pets; (2) to prevent the use or sale of stolen dogs or cats for purposes of research or experimentation; and (3) to establish humane standards for the treatment of dogs, cats, and certain other animals by animal dealers and research facilities.

UK - Riding - Riding Establishments Act 1970 1970 CHAPTER 32

An Act to confer further powers on local authorities with respect to the licensing of riding establishments and to amend the Riding Establishments Act 1964.

US - AWA - 1970 Public Law 91-579 1970 PL 91-579

There were four areas of significant change to the AWA in the 1970 amendments: (1) the definition of "animal" was expanded to include warm-blooded animals generally, (2) more human entities were brought under the regulatory provisions of the Act: animal exhibitors (i.e., circuses, zoos and roadside shows), and wholesale pet dealers, (3) the lab door of research facilities was opened more, requiring that certain humane standards be maintained at all times, (4) the Secretary's enforcement powers were strengthened and protection for government inspectors was provided from individuals who interfered with enforcement actions under the Act.

UK - Dog - Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 1973 c. 60

This Act establishes a regime of local authority licensing and inspection of dog breeding establishments.

UK - Dangerous - Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 ("DWAA") 1976 c. 38

The Dangerous Wild Animals Act ("DWAA") was originally enacted in 1976 and amended in 2010. The act ensures that individuals who keep wild animals do so in a way that minimizes the risk to the public. In particular, the act provides that no person may keep any dangerous wild animal except under the authority of a licence granted by a local authority. The local authority that holds the licence may enter the premises where the animal is being kept at all reasonable times to determine whether an offence has been committed in violation of the act. Zoos, circuses, and pet shops are exempt from the act. The act has an accompanying Schedule that specifies the kinds of dangerous wild animals for which a person must obtain a licence under the act.

US - AWA - 1976 Public Law 94-279 1976 PL 94-279

The 1976 Amendments of the AWA dealt with several new topics: (1) transportation carriers and intermediate handlers of animals were brought under the provisions of the Act, (2) a number of specific transportation problems were addressed by Congress, (3) a new provision was added which made it a crime to knowingly sponsor, participate in, transport, or use the mails to promote fights between live birds, live dogs or other mammals, (4) the penalty provisions were rewritten, allowing the broad use of civil fines.

UK - Zoos - Zoo Licensing Act 1981 1981 c. 37

The Zoo Licensing Act 1981 is an Act to regulate by licence the conduct of zoos. The Act defines a zoo "[as] an establishment where wild animals are kept for exhibition to the public otherwise than for the purposes of a circus and otherwise than as a pet shop; and this Act applies to any zoo to which members of the public have access, with or without charge for admission, on more than seven days in any period of 12 consecutive months".

US - Tuna Fishing - Legislative History of the MMPA (1981) 1981 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1458

This legislative history outlines the background and analysis of the 1981 amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  Of particular note is the discussion related to the "zero mortality" goal for dolphins in the tuna fishing industry.

Criminal Code, Article 291 BIS and 291 TER 1984 Article 291 BIS establishes the penalties for cruelty or mistreatment against animals. Article 291 TER defines animal cruelty and mistreatment.
US - AWA - 1985 Public Law 99-198 1985 PL 99-198

The set of amendments that Congress adopted in December of 1985 focused almost entirely on the issue of animal research, (1) the minimum level of care is stated with more specificity, (2) animal research facilities are required to create Institutional Animal Committees, which include the presence of a public member from outside the facility, (3) trade secrets of research facilities are protected by a new section of the AWA.

UK - Research Animals - Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 1986 CHAPTER 14 An Act to regulate the use of live vertebrate animals in research. Before a test on animals is given permission to proceed various licenses are required. These include: a personal license for each person carrying out the procedure, a project license for the programme of work, and an establishment license for the place in which the work is carried out. Each project must undergo a harm/ benefit analysis. This considers the potential benefits for humankind, the environment or other animals, against the pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm which the experimental animals may experience. Licence holders who lawfully use animals under the Act are exempted from the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, and the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. Section 24 of the Act makes it an offence to disclose any information relating to a regulated animal experiment which has been, or is reasonably believed to have been, given in confidence.
UK - Cruelty - Protection against Cruel Tethering Act 1988 1988 c.31

For historical purposes only. Law has been repealed and/or replaced. The Protection against Cruel Tethering Act 1988 is an act to protect horses, asses and mules against cruel tethering. This means in such conditions or such a manner to cause that animal unnecessary suffering.

US - Tuna Fishing - Legislative History of the MMPA (1988) 1988 WL 169926

This legislative history provides the background and section by section analysis of the 1988 amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  As in 1981, the focus of the amendments rests with the mortality of dolphins from the tuna fishing industry.

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