State Animal Safety Legal guidelines Ranked: Maine is #1, New Mexico #50

State Animal Safety Legal guidelines Ranked: Maine is #1, New Mexico #50
State Animal Safety Legal guidelines Ranked: Maine is #1, New Mexico #50


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The Animal Authorized Protection Fund, the nation’s preeminent authorized advocacy group for animals, has launched the sixteenth annual year-end U.S. State Animal Protection Laws Rankings Report (2021), rankings the animal safety legal guidelines of all 50 states.

For the second yr in a row Maine maintains its first-place rank — adopted by Illinois (2), Oregon (3), Colorado (4), and Rhode Island (5). New Mexico remained in fiftieth place, with Idaho (49), Mississippi (48), Alabama (47), and Utah (46) rounding out states with the weakest animal safety legal guidelines.

State Animal Safety Legal guidelines Ranked: Maine is #1, New Mexico #50

Probably the most improved jurisdictions in 2021 had been Hawaii (27) and Guam (ranked first out of the six U.S. territories). Each enacted complete animal safety laws in 2021. Hawaii was beforehand ranked thirty ninth however rose 12 ranks by criminalizing sexual assault of animals and requiring veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty. Guam was beforehand ranked fourth out of the six inhabited U.S. territories, however in 2021 enacted a complete overhaul of its animal safety legal guidelines — relying closely on the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Model Animal Protection Laws — enabling Guam to snag the first-place rank amongst U.S. territories.

A brand new nationwide pattern in 2021 was the enactment and strengthening of veterinary reporting legal guidelines and cross-reporting legal guidelines. Such legal guidelines both require or explicitly allow veterinarians or social service professionals to report suspected animal cruelty. In 2021 4 states and one territory enacted veterinary reporting or cross-reporting legal guidelines. One other new nationwide pattern was the enactment of legal guidelines addressing certification and coaching of humane officers. Solely 16 states have legal guidelines specifying each coaching requirements and enforcement powers for humane officers — legal guidelines which might be needed to make sure correct enforcement of animal safety legal guidelines. Fortunately that quantity is trending upward, with three states — Maryland, Ohio, and Vermont — enacting complete humane officer legal guidelines in 2021.

“It is vital that we continue to strengthen our animal protection laws as animals are some of the most vulnerable members of society and are too often subjected to cruel mistreatment,” says Animal Authorized Protection Fund Govt Director Stephen Wells. “The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s annual Rankings Report helps legislators and advocates identify weak points in their states’ laws — and highlight strong models that can be used to address those weaknesses.”

The rankings are based mostly on a complete evaluate of every jurisdiction’s animal protection laws, including over 3,000 pages of statutes. This is the longest-running and most authoritative report of its kind and tracks which states are taking animal protection seriously.

The full report, including details about each state, is available at


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