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Best State Laws for Animal Welfare in 2012

The ASPCA has compiled a list of the best state laws enacted in 2012 to help protect and promote animal welfare across the country.  I'm proud to see that Massachusetts appears on the list.  Although we have a far way to go, help from the ASPCA's Advocacy Brigade, the HSUS's Legistation Team and groups like the Animal Legal Defense Fund, encourage community members to remain active and focused on upcoming bills.  If you're still contemplating a New Year's resolution, how about staying informed on animal welfare matters in your state and committing to action when needed most.  Cheers to a happy and sucessful 2-13 for everyone!

State Laws enacted in 2012:
California—“Hounding” of Wildlife
California has banned hounding, a form of trophy hunting in which radio-collared dogs are released in forests to chase and tree bears and bobcats.

Idaho—Felony Cruelty
2012 will be remembered as the year that Idaho, a long-time holdout, finally enacted a law making animal torture a felony offense. The state made cockfighting a felony as well.

Massachusetts—Animal Control Reform
Among other achievements, this far-reaching, comprehensive new law creates a statewide spay/neuter program, prohibits breed-specific legislation, places restrictions on outdoor tethering, and allows pets to be included in domestic violence-related protection orders.

New Jersey—Horse Slaughter
New Jersey banned the slaughter of horses for human consumption as well as their transport through the state—a very meaningful provision, given the continued problem of export of horses over the border for slaughter.

Ohio—Exotic Pet Ownership and Puppy Mill Regulations
Ohio’s Dangerous Wild Animal Act passed seven months after 56 exotic animals were released by their owner. (Most were killed.) Ohio was one of only a handful of states with virtually no regulations on wild/exotic animal pet ownership. In addition, the state passed its first-ever puppy mill law, which sets standards of care and requires annual inspections.

Tennessee—Felony Cruelty to Livestock
While most states exempt farm animals from their animal cruelty statues, Tennessee became one of the first to make extreme acts of cruelty to livestock subject to felony-level penalties.



you must be kidding.. ASPCA jsut paid 9.3 MILLION dollars to Feld company for a "paid witness' tesimony in a RICO trial. ASPCA was slinking off inot the night after using donor dollrs to pay the fine.. HSUS is next up..want to help animlas.. give locally.. not to grops being sued under RICO charges.. and losing

corrected version!! sorry..

You must be kidding!  ASPCA just paid 9.3 MILLION dollars to Feld Company for a "paid witness" in a RICO trial. ASPCA was slinking away into the night after using donor dollars to pay the HUGE fine. HSUS is up next because they and two of thier lawyers are also named in the RICO suit. Want to help animals? Give locally, not to group being sued under RICO charges.. and losing..

Doug-- I'm with you on not supporting the HSUS, for just the reasons you mentioned and more.  I do think that Ema's post relates more to animal-positive legislation, though, and I'm glad that the Ohio law she makes reference to applies only to large-volume breeders, because I think many "animal rights" organizations are secretly anti-pets altogether, and try to pass legislation that would adversely affect the most conscientious breeders along with the puppy-mill producers.  We're all against puppy mills, but let's not do it by overkill (pun intended).


Ema Hudson's picture

By no means does this blog post encourage readers to financially support large animal welfare orgnaizations.  The ASPCA compiled the list above and therefore must recieve credit to avoid copyright infringement.  I volunteer and serve on the board of our local animal shelter so I agree 100% with Doug about giving locally.  The intended point here was to champion animal legislation and to encourage people to keep an eye on laws and bills in their own states.  If you care to provide us with more information on the RICO trial please do so, as we are always up for an engaging conversation.