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Animal Law   Tags: game, pets, wildlife  

A guide to resources available online and in the library on the law surrounding pets and service animals, wild animals, wild game, and livestock.
Last Updated: Jun 23, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Introduction Print Page

Research from Home

If you have a library account in good standing, you can check out an OverDrive e-Book title or access our remote databases. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

For more information on your topic, please try searching our eBook collection or electronic databases.


Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.

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Careers in animal law: welfare, protection, and advocacy - Yolanda Eisenstein
Call Number: KF 299 A55 E37 2011
ISBN: 1616329610
Publication Date: 2011
This book provides an overview of the field from a practicing animal lawyer and professor of animal law, explaining current trends in law, litigaiton and academia. It offers tips for running a successful animal law practice as well as alternative careers in animal law.

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Litigating animal law disputes: a complete guide for lawyers - Joan E. Schaffner
Call Number: KF 390.5 A5 L58 2009
ISBN: 1604420014
Publication Date: 2009
This work is intended to provide lawyers with a primer on litigation involving animals. Per the publisher this work includes such varied topics as "personal injury and negligence, disputes over animal possession; wills and trusts involving animals; veterinary malpractice; insurance litigation; federal cases and Constitutional rights; animal ownership and land use rights; criminal cases; and more."

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A new perspective: seeking justice for animals through the power of the law [PDF] - National Anti-Vivisection Society
Call Number: KF 3841 N38 2008
Publication Date: 2008
Per the publisher, this work "surveys the broad landscape of animal law issues, including a full definition of animal law, a history of animal advocacy and an objective assessment of animal standing under today’s laws."

Cover Art
Texas Animal Laws: An Alpha-Numerical Reference - Texas Academy of Animal Control Officers
Call Number: KFT 390.5 A5 T45
Publication Date: 2014
This guide is intended as a quick reference to statutes and regulations pertaining to animal control, both domestic and wild. It contains relevant provisions of the Texas Administrative Code, Agricultural Code, Family Code, Government Code, Parks & wildlife Code, Health & Safety Code and the Penal Code.

About This Guide

People can have many different kinds of relationships to animals. Depending on the circumstances, they can be companions, food, nuisances, predators, commercial products, hobbies, or just part of our natural world. This guide directs you to resources where you can read about the law surrounding animals in these differing contexts. The guide includes sections on the following special topics: pets and service animals, wild animals, wild game, and livestock.

Texas and Federal Law

Below you will find references to areas of the Texas and federal law which govern issues related to many different types of animals. See the additional red tabs above for more animal law statutes.

  • Texas Local Government Code ch. 215
    This chapter, "Municipal Regulation of Businesses and Occupations," allows municipalities to regulate or prohibit a number of businesses and activities involving animals. This chapter covers topics such as slaughterhouses, stables, cattle drives, circuses, breeding animals, and animals at large.
  • Texas Penal Code sec. 42.09-42.105
    This section outlines the elements of the following criminal offenses: cruelty to livestock, attack on assistance animal, cruelty to nonlivestock, dog fighting, and cockfighting.
  • 7 USC 2131-2159
    These sections,"Transportation, Sale and Regulation of Certain Animals," were added as part of the federal Animal Welfare Act of 1966. The provisions regulate animals who are bred to be pets and used in exhibition or research.

Online Resources

  • Animal Law Blog
    This regularly updated blog is written by an Illinois attorney, but covers issues of interest to all animal law attorneys such as news, litigation, criminal cases, legislation, and other useful resources.
  • Animal Legal and Historical Center
    This portal, from Michigan State University College of Law, provides access to animal laws for federal and all state jurisdictions. You can search by jurisdiction, subject, species, or type of authority (statutory, regulatory, case law, journals etc). It also provides news updates for the latest major cases and legislative changes.
    This website from the National Anti-Vivisection Society provides access to model laws, case law, legislation, news, and more on the topic of animal law. Per the website, topics addressed include "animal cruelty, animal control, laboratory animal welfare, the use of animals in education, product testing and in the laboratory, animal control issues, and general animal welfare."
  • Center for Animal Law Studies, Legal Resources
    This page, from the Lewis and Clark Law School in collaboration with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, is a portal to find legal assistance and current awareness sources. The site also includes several practical "how to" topics such as "what to do if you witness animal cruelty."
  • State Bar of Texas Animal Law Section
    Per their website, this organization's mission is "promoting the study and understanding of laws, regulations and court decisions dealing with legal issues involving animals." Their website includes news and information about continuing legal education seminars.

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at


The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.

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