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Animal Law Research Guide

This guide will assist in researching issues in Animal Law, Animal Rights and Animal Welfare.


Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports

Congressional Research Service (CRS), the research arm of the Library of Congress, provides authoritative, objective, and nonpartisan research and analysis to committees and members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, regardless of party and affiliation. CRS produces new research as issues develop or  are anticipated, and are designed specifically to meet the needs of Congress. Here are some reports that may be useful:

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Legislation, Regulations, and Case Law serve as the basis for the American legal system. Below are sources on current laws and pending legislation for animal law topics. These sources should be used for information only. It is always important that legal researches use the primary source with the most current information. If you need help with statutory, administrative, or case law, please see our following research guides and tutorials:

You may also find our U.S. Primary Sources & Topical Reporters Guide helpful, as it provides a list of primary legal sources & topical reporters.

General Federal Law Resources

General State Resources

The following resources provide information on current State laws:

Animal Welfare Related Federal Acts

This section focuses on the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-544), better known as the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), and related acts such as the Horse Protection Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-540). The following links include the relevant regulatory agency and related materials on animal welfare related laws: 

Endangered Species Act (ESA)

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-205) protects critically endangered species from extinction and helps those same species recover. The following links provide access to the relevant regulatory agencies and related information.

Wild Horses and Burros

In 1971, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (P.L. 92-195) was passed and signed into law. This law determines how wild horse and burros on federal lands will be managed. The following links contain information regarding the relevant regulatory agencies and the relevant resources:

Animal Drug Related Acts

Like human medications, animal drugs and medicated feeds are regulated by the government as well. The following links include relevant regulatory agencies and related materials:

Marine Related Laws

The Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and other related laws protect and regulate the marine fisheries in U.S. waters. The following links include the related regulatory agencies and relevant materials:

Case Law

The following resources may be helpful in researching case law in this area.  For an overview of case law research, see our Case Law Research Guide and Tutorial.