Overview of the Animal Welfare Act

Delcianna Winders

Director of Animal Law Program
Vermont Law & Graduate School

This overview of the Animal Welfare Act, the primary federal U.S. animal protection statute, provides a history of the law, discusses which animals it does—and does not—cover, explains how the law is implemented, critiques enforcement, addresses the importance of transparency, and proposes recommendations aimed at fulfilling the mandate that Congress put in place more than a half century ago: ensuring the humane care and treatment of animals.

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