American Bar Association
General Committees: ANIMAL LAW

General Committees:

Who We Are

Our Mission To address all issues concerning the intersection of animals and the law to create a paradigm shift resulting in a just world for all. Our Work The status of animals in our legal system, and in our society at large, is in flux, and attorneys are discovering innovative ways to use the rule of law in many different arenas to create a just world for all. These arenas involve a vast array of human/animal interactions, including estate planning for companion animals, due process protections in dangerous dog/reckless owner laws, appropriate compensation when an animal is killed or injured, protections against breed discrimination, standards of care and accountability for animals used in industry and agriculture, expanding notions of what constitutes "cruelty to animals," and the competing interests of wild animals and humans in dwindling resources.

Letter from the Chair

Animal Law Committee Brochure

Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award

History of the Animal Law Committee

Annual Report

Join us on facebook


Animal Law Committee in the News!

"Taking Care of Your Four-Legged Companion After You're Gone"
May 2013 USA Today Article by ALC Chair-Elect Yolanda Eisenstein.

"Careers in Animal Law on Dog Talk Radio" Interview with Vice-Chair Yolanda Eisenstein discussing her new book on TX Public Radio.

"Protecting People & Their Pets" Recorded Debate featuring ALC Chair Ledy VanKavage and Vice-Chair David Favre.

In the highly publicized wake of exotic animals being set loose and then shot by authorities in Zanesville, visit the Animal Legal & Historical Center for a breakdown of Ohio's exotic animal ownership laws. Click here for links to similar statutes in all other states, and here for an interactive map linking directly to each state's exotics regulations. ALC Vice-Chair and honoree David Favre is Editor-in-Chief of this invaluable resource.

"The Problem of Dog-Related Incidents and Encounters" Dept of Justice Handbook, Co-Authored by ALC Chair, Ledy VanKavage. PDF Download.

"Fiscal Bite & Breed Discrimination: Utilizing Scientific Advances & Economic Tools in Lobbying" from Mid-Atlantic Animal Law Conference

"Valparaiso Law Professor Rebecca J. Huss to Receive Award for Work in Animal Law"

"The Rise of Animal Law" in Science (subscription or fee)

"American Bar Association Supports Justice for Victims of Cruelty" in

"ABA Adopts Policy Based on Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Resolution on Humane Treatment of Seized Animals"

"Animal Protection Attorneys Are Pushing the Law to Treat Animals More Like Humans" in the ABA Journal

"Puerto Rico, US: How Many Lawyers to Rescue Tips?" in Best Friends News

"Beast Practices" in the ABA Journal

"Speaking Up For Animals" in BARK

"New Breed of Lawyer Gives Every Dog His Day in Court" in the New York Times

ABA Journal Animal Law Topics

Related Products

Publications, Special Projects and Resolutions


Careers in Animal Law

Written by Yolanda Eisenstein

One of the fastest growing legal disciplines, animal law is concerned with protecting and improving the lives of animals through city ordinances, state and federal laws, international treaties, and cases that impact animals. The first book of its kind,CareersinAnimalLaw will help you: Gain an overview of the field from a practicing animal lawyer and professor of animal law; Forge a successful animal law career with firms of all types and sizes, government agencies, major corporations, or nonprofit organizations; Strike out on your own as a solo practitioner of animal law; Learn career tips from a series of animal-lawyer profiles; Understand evolving trends in legislation, litigation, and academia that will change the face of animal law in the decades to come.

Litigating Animal Law Disputes: A Complete Guide for Lawyers

Edited by Julie I. Fershtman and Joan E. Schaffner

Animal law is an emerging field that encompasses a variety of legal disciplines. Today more and more lawyers are entering into this field or finding they have cases that deal with animal law. This comprehensive guide is for lawyers whom aybeun familiar with the various laws in the field of animal law and require a basic guide to handling these cases.


Edited by Joan E. Schaffner

This one-of-a-kind book discusses the handling of "dangerous dogs" by the law and private associations. Today, many dogs are deemed dangerous, not on the traits of the individual animal, but by breed alone. The authors explain why breed discrimination is immoral, unfair, andineffective, and discuss progressive approaches to better handle reckless owners and their dogs, and share strategies for prosecuting and defending dangerous dog cases. Topics include an overview of ordinances targeting reckles sowners, the concept of canine profiling, the constitutionality of breed-specific legislation, enforcing and defending dangerous dog laws, and information on dangerous dog registries and hearings. You'll discover how to use witnesses including victims, animal control officers, physicians and animal behaviorists, and find a primer on home owners insurance and dog ownership. The book also delves into breed discrimination by home owner associations and zoning boards. While there is nothing wrong with laws restricting vicious dogs, to have a dog seized or destroyed solely on the basis ofits breed flies in the face of common decency. Be ready for the expanding field of animal law with thi sunique and in formative book on dangerous dog issues.

Wildlife Law: AGlobalPerspective

Edited by Raj Panjwani

This book represents a comparative study of legislation enacted by different countries for the protection of wild life and its habitat within their respective territories. The book evaluates various laws implementing the principle of "Sustainable Development," particularly the "PrecautionaryPrinciple," to achieve the objective of saving wild life and its habitat.


Humane Education Project is a joint public service project of the Animal Law and Law in Public Service Committees of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)and Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART), a non-profit public charity. The primary objective of the Humane Education Project is to cultivate compassion and empathy in our youth toward animals and foster respect for the environment.

TIPS solicits lawyer and law student volunteers from the ABA membership, and from the membership of state or local bar associations, to work on implementing humane education programs in their local schools. Designed to reach elementary school children in 4th and 5th grades, the program has been implemented in New York City, the District of Columbia, Chicago, Baltimore, and will soon be implemented in Los Angeles. Contact Meena Alagappan at HEART at meena@teachhumane.orgformoreinformation.



Legislative Recommendations to Prohibit the Possession, Sale, Breeding, Import,or Transfer of Dangerous Wild Animals, (105) (2015) -Resolution & Report

Legislative Recommendations to EnsureDue Process in Canine Ownership (100) (2012) -Resolution & Report

Guidelinesfor Service Animal Policies to Comply with the ADA (303)(2012) -Resolution & Report

GuidelinesRegardingAnimalSeizures(108B)(2011) - Resolution & Report

Model Act Governing the Care and Disposition of Disaster Animals (103A)(2010) - Resolution & Report

Programs, Meetings & Events

Committee Events

ABA TIPS Animal Law Committee Business meeting

October 15, 2015
Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section
TIPS Fall Leadership Meeting
October 14 – 18, 2015
Westin Kierland Resort, Scottsdale AZ
Animal Law Committee Meeting
October 15, 2015
2:00-3:00 MST
Dial-In Number - 866-646-6488 - Conference Code 5998261393

I. Call to Order, Welcome and Announcement of Participants

II. Approval of Minutes for July 31, 2015 meeting during ABA annual meeting

III. Subcommittees
      a. Substantive
          i.   Animals in Agriculture (chair: Nick Arrivo
          ii. NEW: Animals in Medical Research and Training (chair: Leslie Rudloff
          iii. Companion Animals (chair: Stacey Evans
          iv. Equine Law (chair Margrit Parker
          v. Insurance Issues (no current chair)
          vi. International Issues (chair Daina Bray
          vii.Wild Animals (no current chair)
      b. Procedural
          i. list

IV. Programs and Meetings
      a. Lunch and Learn
          i. Animals in Medical Research and Training / January 27, 2016
          ii. International Issues / May 25, 2016
          iii. Animals in Agriculture / July 13, 20 or 27, 2016
      b. Webinar
          i. April 6, 2016 Equine Law
      c. CLE
          i. Wildlife regarding canned hunting, hunting of specific species in US, other issues looking at MidYear meeting or the TIPS CLE in May
          ii. Shelter Liability in July in conjunction with Best Friends Conference
             1. Considering having this two times per year

V. Public service projects
    a. Trying to set something up in San Diego for midyear meeting. (contact SDSPCA)

VI. Membership (Yolanda)

VII. Law students
       a. Increase awareness possible application for grant money

VIII.Other business

IX. adjourn

Bonnie Lutz
Animal Law Committee

Section Events

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Lutz, Bonnie


Evans, Stacey

Committee Roster  

Committee Newsletter Indices

Animal Law Committee Newsletter Indices

Recent Newsletters



Subcommittees and Minutes

Sites of Interest

Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award

The Animal Law Committee's annual "Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award" recognizes exceptional work by an Animal Law Committee member who, through commitment and leadership, has advanced the humane treatment of animals through the law. Although the Awards Subcommittee members will consider all facts presented about the nominee, they are especially interested in the nominee's activities during the prior three years. Nominees and nominators must be members of the Animal Law Committee. Travel expenses for the winning nominee to the award reception are not included. The annual nomination deadline is March 1.

Modified by Carlos Vivanco on November 16, 2015

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