Posted March 12, 2014
The National Agricultural Law Center offers a wide range of resources, one of which is the Animal Welfare Reading Room available here.
Many animal welfare laws are enacted and enforced on the state level.  The Center offers a database for all state laws enacted on farm animal welfare and animal cruelty.
The first federal animal welfare statute was the Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2131-2159, initially passed in 1966 to prevent pets from being stolen for sale to research laboratories and to improve the treatment of research animals. 
Other major federal statutes include the Animal Health and Disease Research Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 3191-3201; Horse Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1821-1831; Humane Slaughter Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1901-1906; Lacey Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 41-47; Migratory Bird Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 715-715s; Twenty-Eight Hour Law, 49 U.S.C. § 80502; and the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1331-1340.
The Animal Welfare Reading Room provides information on major statutes, relevant regulations, links to the case law index, administrative law decisions, Center research publications, relevant Congressional Research Service reports, and many other resources. 


These resources are provided by the National Agricultural Law Center as a free service to the public.