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An Introduction to Animal Law

This is a guest post by Ashley Sundin who was an intern with the Law Library’s Public Services Division this summer.

Animal law is a rapidly growing area of law, especially in the past decade.  The human–animal interaction comes in a variety of forms including companionship, agriculture, and science.  As a result, animal law extends into many areas of law including criminal, torts, property, and constitutional law.

This guide will provide an overview of the resources available covering animal law, wildlife law, and animal rights and welfare.

Whoopie and Englehurst Gillette two of the White House dogs with Robert R. Robinson (March 29, 1929).  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c31290.

Whoopie and Englehurst Gillette two of the White House dogs with Robert R. Robinson (March 29, 1929). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c31290.

Books

For Beginners

General

Practice-Focused

The materials in this section explore animal law career options for those considering a career in animal law and provide litigation strategies for those currently working in this area of practice.

Foreign & International

State & Federal Law

You will find laws at the federal, state, and local levels that relate to animal law.  You can directly search for federal and state laws by consulting the United States Code and your local state statutory code.  Be sure to also take into consideration your local laws by consulting municipal codes. The Animal Legal Defense Fund site contains a finding aid that may prove helpful to locating legislation.

Cases

The following sites compile notable cases in the area of animal law.  You can also locate cases related to animal law using free sources on the web such as Google Scholar.  Alternatively, you can visit your local law library for access to subscription legal research databases such as Westlaw and LexisNexis.

Journals

Subject Headings

You can also search the Library of Congress catalog by browsing subject headings for books on this topic. Click “browse” and use the drop-down to select “SUBJECTS beginning with” or “SUBJECTS containing,” and then input a subject heading using one of the examples shown below. Finally, click on a result and you can browse the materials classified under that subject heading.  Here are a few examples of possible subject headings:

  • Animals–Law and legislation–United States
  • Animals–Law and legislation–[Country]
  • Animals–Law and legislation–[State]
  • Animals–Law and legislation–United States—Cases
  • Animal welfare–Law and legislation–United States
  • Animal rights–United States
  • Dogs–Law and Legislation–[Country]
  • Dogs–Law and Legislation–[State]

Online Resources

What Legal Processes are Available to the Journalists Imprisoned in Egypt?

The following is a guest post by George Sadek, a senior legal research analyst at the Law Library of Congress.  George has previously written various posts related to Egyptian law for In Custodia Legis, including about the constitutional developments in the country in the past couple of years. As has been widely reported and discussed […]

A Tour of Runnymede

The following is a guest post by Geri Silverstone,  project director for the Magna Carta 800th Surrey Partnership at the National Trust. As the phrase clearly states, time marches on and waits for no man, so perhaps it should not come as a surprise to think that we have just a year to go before […]

English Translations of Post-Second World War South Korean Laws – Global Legal Collection Highlights

The following is a guest post by Sayuri Umeda, a senior foreign law specialist at the Law Library of Congress. It continues our Global Collection Highlights Series. Sayuri previously contributed a post on Japanese family law to this series. She also recently wrote a post on the laws and regulations passed in the aftermath of the Great […]

What Happens When There Is an Inconsistency Between the Statutes at Large and the U.S. Code?

The following is a guest post by Shameema Rahman, senior legal research specialist in our Public Services Division This has been an interesting month. I have answered a number of unique inquiries from our researchers and one of them was kind enough to allow me to share her question with you. She asked if I could give […]

Laws and Regulations Passed in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake

The following is a guest post by Sayuri Umeda, a senior foreign law specialist covering Japan and several Southeast Asian countries at the Law Library of Congress. Last year I completed a major research report titled “Japan: Legal Responses to the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011,” which is now available on the Law Library’s […]