State Legislation

State Legislation

At Farm Sanctuary, we spend our lives with farm animals, and we know them as individuals. We would no more eat a chicken or a pig than we would eat a kitten or a puppy. We also recognize that legislation can lessen the suffering of millions — or even billions — of animals with one bill.

Farm Sanctuary works hard both to pass good state legislation and to stop bad state legislation. Please check out the current bills listed below and take action on any that are happening in your state. If you’re a Farm Sanctuary member, please make sure we have your email address and postal address (so we know what state you’re in), and we will alert you to any future legislation that affects farm animals in your state.

Animal Protection Legislation History

Since Farm Sanctuary partnered with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida on the first state ban on a factory farming practice — the ban on gestation crates in Florida in 2002 — momentum has spread to get rid of some of the worst abuses of farm animals.

In 2004, we led the charge to ban both the production and sale of foie gras in California. Then in 2006, again partnering with HSUS, we followed our landslide Florida victory with a ban on both gestation and veal crates in Arizona. The year 2008 was our biggest challenge yet, working to ban cruel confinement systems in California, the country’s top agricultural state. Working with HSUS, we banned veal and gestation crates, and battery cages, and the measure passed by the highest margin of any other citizen initiative in California history.

Since that time, six more states have banned gestation crates (Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Ohio, and Rhode Island), five more have banned veal crates (Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Maine, and Rhode Island), and one has banned battery cages (Michigan).

Anti-Animal Legislation

Unfortunately, there has also been an outpouring of anti-animal bills, called “Ag Gag” or “whistleblower suppression” bills. These bills are designed to criminalize undercover investigations. The factory farmers’ response to exposés showing illegal abuse of animals and workers has been to outlaw the investigations rather than to improve practices. In 2011, a large coalition of animal protection, first amendment, workers’ rights, and environmental groups defeated these laws in Florida, Minnesota, Iowa, and New York. In 2013, we beat back 11 bills. In 2014, we expect to beat back even more.

State Legislation in 2014

We’re hard at work with HSUS, the ASPCA, and other animal protection groups to ban the worst abuses of farm animals in more states, and to beat back any Ag Gag bills that are proposed. Click below to find out what’s happening in your state, and sign up to get a direct email from us when a bill is introduced in your state.


Alaska: The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is revising the state’s Animal Care Standards. Please click here to read our letter to the department. If you haven’t already, please sign up for action alerts, and we will notify you when the public comment period is opened.

Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, H1456 will ban battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates. Please contact your state legislators and ask that they support this bill.

New York: A424 will ban battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates. Please contact your state legislators and ask that they support this bill.

Ag Gag

Ag-gag bills are constantly changing and windows of opportunity for contacting legislatures are often brief. Please sign up here for our action alerts, and we will contact you if there is a bill in your state that requires action.