15 January 2010

ALDF ranks states according to animal protection laws


(photo credit: aldf.org)
Recently the Animal Legal Defense Fund announced the 2009 State Animal Protection Laws Rankings. In the fourth annual report, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) analyzed the comprehensiveness and strength of animal protection laws in every state and territory of the U.S.

The best five states on the 2009 list are the same states that received top billing the previous year: Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, and California. Those states were found to demonstrate the strongest commitment to combating animal cruelty. At the bottom of the barrel, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Dakota were the five best states to be an animal abuser, according the ALDF report.

“Many states and territories are continuing to make substantial progress with their animal protection laws. Arkansas, for example, was one of the worst five states last year, but jumped up to 25th overall in the country this year, due to a host of statutory improvements. Washington, D.C. and Indiana, among others, also made significant advances. Unfortunately, there are still many places where the laws are incapable of providing the legal protections that our country’s animals need and deserve,” says Stephan Otto, Animal Legal Defense Fund's director of legislative affairs and author of the report. “Yet even in those jurisdictions that have today’s best laws, there remain many opportunities for improvement. While animals certainly do not vote, those who love and care about them do, so we encourage lawmakers throughout the country to take heed and commit to working to improve these critical laws.”

The ALDF, which aims to protect the lives and advance the interest of animals through the legal system, recommends people encourage elected officials to support improvements in local animal protection laws.  Visit the Animal Legal Defense Fund website to read the full report and see where each state was ranked.