Legal issues with animals occur in several arenas: housing, real estate, health, agriculture and business, to name only a few.  Attorneys have only recently begun practices that include animal law, which makes it one of the more exciting fields of law. This website provides information for Committee members, attorneys and members of the public who have an interest in the growing field of animal law.

This Committee was originally conceived by the late Lorraine Power Tharp, past president of the Association, who wanted to highlight the growing field of Animals and the Law and to educate the profession, specifically the membership, about the issues that arise in the law in relation to animals.

Mission Statement

The Committee on Animals and the Law is a resource for Members and the Public about non-human, animal related legal matters and associated humane considerations. Among the activities of the group, Committee Members: (a) monitor and provide comment on relevant legislation and policy-making decisions at various levels of government; (b) offer continuing legal education as well as programs for the lay public on animal law; (c) compile and provide information and resources on animal law and other associated humane considerations to the public via access to the NYSBA website and printed materials; (d) respond to requests for information from the public and attorneys related to animal law issues; and (e) encourage law student interest in animal law by various means including sponsoring a legal writing competition for law students.

The Committee ascertains the needs and interests of NYSBA members and their constituents with respect to animal humane-related issues and develops programs to disseminate resource information to address those needs and interests. Where appropriate, the Committee solicits expertise and assistance of NYSBA committees and sections whose Members and Constituents are affected by these humane-related issues.

To maximize effectiveness, the Committee invites participation by professionals in animal health care, animal welfare, wildlife conservation, animal behavior, and other related fields in animal-law and humane-related work, such as veterinarians, biologists, educators, humane law enforcement officers and non-attorney government officials.

Third Revision as of January 27, 2011
Second Revision as of January 6, 2009
First Revision as of June 21, 2007

Online Community

LEGALease: Animal Law in New York State

LEGALease: Pet Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions

Laws and Paws Newsletters

Laws and Paws  is the official publication of NYSBA’s Committee on Animals and the Law.  It is published twice each year and is distributed electronically to Committee members; it is available for viewing on the Committee’s webpage.  Laws and Paws publishes articles that provide information to practitioners who encounter an animal law issue in their legal practice or who are simply interested in learning about animal law; recent issues have addressed “Pet Trusts” (Winter 2017) and “What Will Happen to Your Pet if You Cannot Care for It” (Summer 2020).  It also provides general information on issues relating to animals; the Winter 2019 issue contained an article on the new FAA Rules for the service animals that will now be allowed on commercial air carriers.  Laws and Paws regularly has news on Committee activities, such as the Committee’s legislative program; and events, such as the Committee’s CLE programs.  Winning entries in the Student Writing Competition sponsored by the Committee on Animals and the Law are published in Laws and Paws.

Winter 2022-23 Edition

2021 Fall Edition

2021 Winter Edition

2020 Summer Edition

2019 Winter Edition

2018 Winter Edition

2018 Fall Edition

2017 Winter Edition

2017 Spring Edition

2016 Winter Edition

2012 Fall Edition

2011 Spring Edition

2009 Fall Edition

Awards and Student Writing Competition

Acknowledgement of Exemplary Service to the Committee

2018: James F. Gesualdi
2019: Barbara J. Ahern
2020: Stacey Tranchina
2021: Amy M. Pontillo

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