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This is the "Introduction" page of the "Animal Law" guide.
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The purpose of this guide is to assist researchers interested in studying animal law and related subjects, such as animal rights and animal welfare.
Last Updated: Feb 3, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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We gratefully acknowledge Vicki Steiner at the UCLA School of Law for her permission to model her Animal Law LibGuide.



The purpose of this guide is to assist researchers interested in studying animal law and related subjects, such as animal rights and animal welfare. Listed within this guide are suggestions for resources which will assist in locating relevant case law, statutes, regulations, articles, news, and books. Also listed are links to resources that are freely available online that researchers in animal law may find of interest.

Traditionally, animal law has been defined as those rules that govern human interactions with nonhuman animals. These rules have traditionally viewed animals as property and as having no legal standing of their own.  However, there is a growing body of law covering animal welfare, animal rights and animal protection.

Animal Rights and Welfare

  • Animal  Icon
    Animal Concerns is a project of the EnviroLink Network, a non-profit organization which has been providing access to thousands of online environmental resources since 1991.
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  Icon
    Founded in 1866, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” While there are SPCAs and humane societies all over the country, the ASPCA is not directly affiliated with them. However, the ASPCA works nationally to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with many shelters across the country.
  • Humane Society of the United States
    This site provides links to PDF copies of white papers authored by HSUS on farm animal welfare, as well as statistics on U.S. farm animal slaughter; per capita meat, egg, and dairy consumption; and on the top five states factory farms.
  • Moral Status of Animals  Icon
    Ethics Updates was founded in 1994 by Lawrence M. Hinman, a professor of philosophy at the University of San Diego. Originally, it was intended to update the bibliographical essays in two of his books, Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory and Contemporary Moral Issues. The site still reflects its origins: the structure of the two principal components of the site reflects the tables of contents of those two books. A more detailed description of the development of the site can be found in "The Virtual Seminar Room," which was published in Teaching Philosophy in 1997.
  • National Federation of Humane Societies  Icon
    " NFHS is a trade federation dedicated to representing and advocating for the interests of local animal welfare organizations, animal shelters, rescue groups and animal care and control agencies."
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)  Icon
    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters.
    PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. They also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds, and other “pests” as well as cruelty to domesticated animals. PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.

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Susan Catterall
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Charlotte School of Law
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