University of Vermont AAHS

Cruelty to Animals Acts


Agricultural Protection Acts
Brand Laws
Cruelty to Animals Acts
Equine Activity Statutes
Equine Infectious Anemia
Helmet Laws
Liens for Care of Horses
Liens for Service to Horses
Livestock Laws
Recreational Use Statutes
Riding on Public Roads
Quarantine & Health Laws

 

All states have laws that prohibit cruelty to horses and other animals. Every state makes it a crime to engage in certain cruel acts toward animals. Most states permit the government to seize and destroy or sell an animal that has been found to have been cruelly treated.

Many states give a special role to the Humane Society or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Those states make officers of these private associations law enforcement officers, empowered to seek and execute search and arrest warrants, search private property for evidence of cruelty to animals and arrest persons whom they have reason to believe have committed an offense of cruelty to an animal.

Many states have recently enacted legislation to protect research facilities from trespass to "liberate" animals in their custody. Other states have increased the punishments for abuse of police or service animals.

(Scroll down to view state statutes.)

Home

AAHS Site

Contact Us

What's New

Law Cases for Horsemen

HorseLaw Articles

Horsemanship Safety Articles

AMEA Articles

Ask Lerlene

 

Older statutes are directed toward equines as work animals and seek to protect them from overwork and neglect. More recent statutes focus on dogs and cats; they establish pounds, animal control systems, and standards of care.

The focus of this section is upon laws dealing with cruelty to horses. So long as a law could be applied to a horse, it is included here. Laws that by their terms cannot be applied to horses--such as laws specifically directed at dogs and cats or laws prohibiting staging fights between animals or fowls--are excluded.

Statutes in all fifty states were reviewed and updated as needed in September 2001.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado

Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii

Idaho
Illinois 
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas

Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts

Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana

 

Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico

New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma

Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island


South Carolina
South Dakota

Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia

Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming