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Animal Law: Primary Law

Please use this LibGuide as a start to your research. This is not meant to represent all the available information on the topic of Animal Law. For further help, please see a reference librarian.

Federal Statutes

Federal Statutes:

7 USC sec. 2131-2156 (Animal Welfare Act)

15 USC sec. 1821-1831 (Horse Protection Act)

7 USC sec. 1901 - 1906 (Humane Methods Slaughter Act)

 

New York State Statutes

New York Statutes:

NY Agric & Mkts Law sec 350(1). See sec 14[a]

NY Agric & Mkts Law sec 350(2). See sec 14[a]

NY Agric & Mkts Law sec 353.  See sec 12[b], 14[a], 16[a], 17[a,b], 28[b], 29[b].

West's Topic and Key Numbers

West’s Topic and Keynumbers

K28 animals

   k3.5        Regulation in general

                 -(3). Constitutional provisions, statutes

                         and ordinances

                 -(5). Protective and anti-cruelty regulation

                        in general

                 -(6). Laboratory and research animals.

                 -(7). Fighting and contests.

                 -(8). Searches and seizures, inspections

                         and forfeitures

                 -(9). Prosecutions and pleadings; review.

                -(10). Penalties, punishments and costs

   k43         Injuring or killing animals in general

   k43.1              - in general

   k44                 - civil liability

   k45                 - criminal liability

   k52         Running at large - killing or injuring

                  animals at large

   k78         Injuries to other animals – duties of

                  owners in general

   k84                  - killing vicious animals

   k86                  - penalties for violations of

                              regulations

   k87                  - criminal prosecutions

   k94         Trespassing -  driving off trespassing

                 animals

   k96                 - injuring or killing trespassing

                           animals

   k101               - penalties for violations of

                           regulations

   k102               - criminal prosecutions

   k108       Pounds - offenses

   k109                - penalties

   k110                - criminal prosecution

   k113       Livery, boarding, and riding stables

                            – penalties and offenses for violation of regulations.

New York Caselaw

New York Case Law:

These cases were found with a search using the Topic and Key number K28 Animals k3.5(5) Protective and anti-cruelty regulation in general.

People v. Augustine, 932 N.Y.S.2d 247
28 ANIMALS
   28k3.5 Regulation in General

28 k3 .5(5) k. Protective and anti-cruelty regulation in general.
N.Y.App.Div.3.Dept.,2011
Evidence was sufficient to support defendant's conviction of aggravated cruelty to animals; defendant had called his half brother and asked how to dispose of a body, and consistent with the advice he received, the victim's body was buried beneath the body of a dog, one of defendant's friends testified that it looked like defendant had a dog bite on his wrist around the time that the victim disappeared, bullets used to kill the victim and the dog were consistent with each other and with having been fired from a rifle located in the victim's camper, wildlife pathologist who performed the necropsy testified that the dog had a full stomach and was in good health prior to death, and dog was shot five times in the head.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353-a(1).


People v. Hock, 919 N.Y.S.2d 835
N.Y.City.Crim.Ct.,2011
Statute making it a misdemeanor to not provide confined animal with sufficient supply of good and wholesome “air, food, shelter, and water” is violated if any one of those basic requirements of life is not provided; to require denial of all four necessities for conviction would be contrary to object of the law and not promote justice.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 356.


People v. Peters, 911 N.Y.S.2d 719
N.Y.App.Div.3.Dept.,2010
Jury's verdict convicting veterinarian of crime of animal cruelty was against the weight of the evidence where court charged jury that in order to find veterinarian guilty, it was required to find that he failed to provide both mare and her foal with necessary sustenance or food and drink, and caused or permitted physical pain or suffering to both animals; while photographic and testimonial evidence showed that the mare had suffered neglect, evidence that the foal was listless, lethargic, underweight, and not thriving supported both maltreatment as a cause, as readily as weaning from its mother.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353.


People v. Romano, 908 N.Y.S.2d 520
N.Y.Sup.,2010
Evidence supported conviction for animal cruelty, including testimony of experienced, treating veterinarian establishing that defendant's dog had not been groomed for prolonged period of time, causing dog to develop considerable, though preventable, medical problems which caused it to suffer pain, and defendant's failure to seek medical care for dog, which was necessitated by defendant's neglect, despite clear, objective signs that dog needed medical attention.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353.


People v. Bowe, 876 N.Y.S.2d 762
N.Y.App.Div.3.Dept.,2009
Defendant's conviction for cruelty to animals was supported by evidence; police discovered 15 horses on defendant's property, some of which were dead and others which were severely emaciated, and two of the horses were in such debilitated state that they had to be euthanized after they were removed from defendant's property.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353.


People v. Curcio, 874 N.Y.S.2d 723
N.Y.City.Crim.Ct.,2008
Complaint which alleged that defendant knew his dog had a mass on her rear and that defendant did not and would not take the dog to the veterinarian for medical attention was facially sufficient in prosecution for misdemeanor of overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals, even if allegations were not complete enough to sustain a conviction; matters alleged in complaint constituted an omission or neglect permitting unjustifiable pain or suffering within meaning of the Agriculture and Markets Law definition of cruelty.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law §§ 350(2), 353; McKinney's CPL §§ 100.15, 100.40, 170.30(1)(a), 170.35(1)(a, b).


People v. Degiorgio, 827 N.Y.S.2d 342
N.Y.App.Div.3.Dept.,2007
Evidence that defendant attacked and killed 12-year-old, 18-pound dog by kicking dog while wearing boots, picking dog up by its neck and shaking it, banging dog's head against door, and throwing dog down basement stairs onto cement floor was sufficient to support conviction of aggravated cruelty to animals.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353-a(1).


People v. Garcia, 812 N.Y.S.2d 66
Formerly 28k40
N.Y.App.Div.1.Dept.,2006
Pet goldfish were “companion animals” within the meaning of statute prohibiting aggravated cruelty to animals, and therefore defendant who stomped on a boy's pet goldfish was guilty of violating that statute; goldfish were domesticated inasmuch as they had been adapted to live in close association with humans, and they were being kept as part of boy's household.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law §§ 350(5), 353-a(1).
See publication Words and Phrases for other judicial constructions and definitions.


People v. Sitors, 815 N.Y.S.2d 393
N.Y.Co.,2006
Fact that defendant's horses did not die did not preclude state from bringing misdemeanor charges against defendant for failure to provide proper sustenance.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353.


People v. Mahoney, 804 N.Y.S.2d 535
Formerly 28k40
N.Y.Sup.,2005
Term “sustenance,” as used in statute establishing criminal liability for depriving animals of necessary sustenance, was distinguishable from term “food or drink,” and included provision of veterinary care and shelter adequate to maintain health and comfort.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353.
See publication Words and Phrases for other judicial constructions and definitions.

Hammer v. American Kennel Club, 758 N.Y.S.2d 276
Formerly 28k38.1
N.Y.App.Div.1.Dept.,2003
Statute prohibiting causing unjustifiable mutilation or pain to animals could be construed to proscribe practice of docking dogs' tails for cosmetic reasons, as alleged in dog owner's action challenging breed standards set by organization of dog breeders and exhibitors for showing of Brittany Spaniels, which penalized failure to dock dogs' tails.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353.


Hammer v. American Kennel Club, 758 N.Y.S.2d 276
Formerly 28k38.1
N.Y.App.Div.1.Dept.,2003
In dog owner's action, allegations, that breed standards set by organization of dog breeders and exhibitors for showing of Brittany Spaniels, which penalized failure to dock dogs' tails, constituted illegal arbitrary and capricious conduct, failed to state a claim; tail standard was not arbitrary and capricious inasmuch as defendants were not governmental agencies answerable for the even-handedness of their procedures.


People v. Rogers, 708 N.Y.S.2d 795
Formerly 28k42
N.Y.Sup.,2000
Convictions for abandonment of animals were supported by defendant's admission that he was responsible for day-to-day operation of pet shop and returned to the shop daily after it closed and by evidence that animals found in shop were either dead, sick, or made to live in an unsanitary environment.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 355.


People v. Rogers, 703 N.Y.S.2d 891
Formerly 28k40
N.Y.City,2000
Use of the terms “unjustifiably” and “unjustifiable,” as a means of determining criminal conduct under anticruelty statute, did not refer to the defense of justification, but rather set a verbal boundary between acceptable infliction of physical pain, suffering or death and/or the maiming or mutilation of an animal and when a person's conduct exceeded such boundary.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353; McKinney's Penal Law § 35.05.


People v. Rogers, 703 N.Y.S.2d 891
Formerly 28k40
N.Y.City,2000
All physical pain, suffering, or death which ensues from the maiming or mutilation of an animal is per se unjustified and violates anticruelty statute.
McKinney's Agriculture and Market Law § 353.


People v. Carr, 703 N.Y.S.2d 868
Formerly 28k40
N.Y.Just.,1999
Physical injury is element of misdemeanor offense of cruelly beating any animal.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353.


Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Labs, Inc. v. Board of Trustees of State University of New York, 703 N.E.2d 1218
Formerly 28k4
N.Y.,1998
One of purposes of federal Animal Welfare Act is to protect owners of animals from theft of their pets by preventing sale or use of animals which have been stolen. Animal Welfare Act, § 1(b), as amended,
7 U.S.C.A. § 2131(b).


People v. Voelker, 658 N.Y.S.2d 180
Formerly 28k40
N.Y.City.Crim.Ct.,1997
In order to avoid prosecution under anticruelty statute, justification for killing or torturing animal must be of the type necessary to preserve safety of property or to overcome danger or injury, or the type of legal justification specifically authorized by statute.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 350, subd. 2; McKinney's Penal Law § 35.05.


People v. Voelker, 658 N.Y.S.2d 180
Formerly 28k40
N.Y.City.Crim.Ct.,1997
Alleged acts of cutting off heads of three conscious iguanas were acts which injured, maimed, mutilated and killed, within meaning of anticruelty statute, and whether defendant “unjustifiably” committed these acts was matter best left to trier of fact.
McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 353.