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Animal Law Research Guide: Statutes

The Animal Law Research Guide provides guidance for students researching animal law and advocacy, as well as the discussion of animals in the fields of philosophy, cultural studies, gender and women's studies, environmental studies, and literary theory.

Researching Statutes Involving Animal Issues

Annotated codes, and the indexes that accompany them, are excellent resources for locating statutes that govern issues affecting animals. For guidance on using annotated codes to locate statutes, please visit our UCLA School of Law Legal Research and Writing Guide.

If your research involves a comparative analysis of state statutes governing issues affecting animals, try searching in Westlaw's Multistate Animal Law Statutes (MAML-ST), which contains animal law statutes from the codes of all fifty states. If you are researching federal law, try Westlaw's Federal Animal Law Statutes database (FAML-USCA), which contains the United States Code Annotated, including court rules, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, certain sections from the Code of Federal Regulations, appendices, and the Popular Name Table.

Other Helpful Resources for Locating Statutes

For federal statutes governing animal issues, there is a regularly-updated resource published by the Congressional Research Service titled Brief Summaries of Federal Animal Protection Statutes. The most recent version was published in 2010 and lists a number of federal statutes in alphabetical order. The report is available through ProQuest Congressional's digital collection of CRS Reports.

For state statutes governing animal issues, the Animal Legal Defense Fund regularly updates its compilation of state statutes in a publication titled Animal Protection Laws of the United States of America & Canada. The most recent edition (8th ed.) was published in 2013 and is available for download at

Foreign Animal Welfare Laws

An excellent resource to begin your research of foreign animal welfare laws is the Foreign Law Guide, which is an online database of codes and basic legislation in jurisdictions worldwide. To generate a list of foreign animal welfare laws using the Foreign Law Guide, you may use the following steps:

  1. Visit the Foreign Law Guide. Please note that access is limited to members of the law school community. For guidance in accessing the law school's restricted access databases, please visit our Access to Databases Guide);
  2. In the search box that appears at the top of the page, enter the search phrase "animal welfare";
  3. Click Search to run the search;
  4. You may also review relevant laws by selecting Laws by Subject > and then Animals & Animal Welfare;