The past year’s state legislative sessions and court dockets bore witness to a wide variety of initiatives concerning animal welfare and animal issues more generally. The increasing prevalence of ag-gag bills continued in 2015, as Colorado attempted to pass a mandatory reporting bill and North Carolina passed its own ag-gag bill that applied to all businesses, not just agricultural facilities, over the governor’s veto. Animal welfare advocates had reason to celebrate this year, however, when the district court of Idaho overturned its ag-gag bill on constitutional grounds. Tennessee, in amending its “Good Samaritan” law to extend coverage to animals trapped in hot cars, has paved the way for other states to expand their Good Samaritan laws in similar fashion, allowing citizens to break and enter cars to rescue pets in danger of overheating. Farm animals were the subjects of a ballot initiative in Massachusetts, where activists gathered signatures to place a measure on the 2016 ballot that would replicate the protections of California’s Proposition 2 in the state. Finally, the Maine and Wisconsin legislatures addressed the exotic animal situations in their states with bills that seek to increase the difficulty of obtaining exotic animal permits and to ban the ownership of exotic animals altogether, respectively.
Malorie Sneed & Jessica Brockway,
2015 State Legislative Review,
Animal L. Rev.
Available at: https://lawcommons.lclark.edu/alr/vol22/iss2/9