Posted October 4, 2013

The National Agricultural Law Center and the American Agricultural Law Association are co-sponsoring a webinar titled, “Enforcing Animal Welfare Statutes:  Whose Job Is It, Anyway?”  The program will be held Oct. 10, 2013 from 12-1 p.m. (CDT).  The program has been approved for 60 minutes continuing legal education credit in Arkansas, and Center staff will gladly work with attorneys in other states to have the CLE approved in other states.  The cost for CLE is $95.  For more information about the program or to register, click here.   The written materials for the CLE will discuss states’ applicable laws, which is a very valuable resource. 

Authority to enforce animal welfare laws has been delegated to private citizens involved with humane organizations since the 1880s, when the majority of those statutes were originally passed. Currently, over half of the states and the District of Columbia grant some form of law enforcement power to members or officers of humane societies. The authority ranges from the power to arrest to the ability to seize and destroy private property. In some cases, it includes the right to carry a firearm– even, in one state, as a convicted felon– while engaging in law enforcement activities.  

After a brief history of the statutory scheme, this presentation will discuss the states that delegate authority to private citizens involved in humane societies, the specific authority that is given to these individuals and an overview of liability concerns that may present themselves as a result of the delegation.
To learn more about the American Agricultural Law Association, including its upcoming 34th Annual Conference (Oct. 31 – Nov. 2) in Madison, Wisconsin, click here