NABR tracks the following categories of bills for each state exclusively for Association members. These bills are listed and tracked on the ‘Member’s Only’ section of the main website.

Animal Cruelty

Measures amending the animal cruelty laws that exist in every state have become very common. In recent years, many states have significantly updated criminal statutes, clarified specific acts that constitute animal cruelty as well as increased penalties for violations. Most states now include felony provisions. Exemptions for medical research are often provided.


Legislation restricting the use of animals in the classroom, particularly for dissection, has been proposed in many states. Typical legislation requires that students be given a choice of alternative means of learning that do not involve using live or dead animals, such as videos and/or computer simulations.  Laws already exist in 15 states placing similar conditions on kindergarten through grade 12 educational programs.

Facility Regulation

In addition to the federal statues with which animal research facilities must comply, some states have chosen to oversee such facilities in some fashion, e.g. requiring state licensure, establishing standards of operation and/or allowing state inspections.

Open Meetings and Open Records

All states have laws providing for the public disclosure of state agency activities and records.  These laws apply to state universities in some circumstances.   Therefore, legislation to amend state open meetings and/open records requirements may affect animal research facilities at state institutions.

Product Safety Testing

Since the mid-80s, many state legislatures have considered measures to ban or otherwise restrict the use of animals in consumer product safety tests.

Research Animal Availability

Many states have laws regulating the availability of animals for research or teaching purposes. Prohibitions or restrictive conditions apply most often to the ability of research institutions to obtain dogs and cats from municipal animal control facilities.

Research Facility Protection

Numerous state legislatures have approved or are considering laws to address the increasing threat of agroterrorism or ecoterrorism –arson, economic sabotage and other acts of intimidation against a wide range of facilities perpetrated by extremist animal rights groups. Some states are also addressing issues surrounding bioterrorism.

Please see other State Matters subjects (menu at right) for information about Pet Trusts, Animal Ownership vs. Guardianship and developments in Tort Law.