Animal advocacy group ranks New Mexico 'best' for animal abuse

Posted at: 12/17/2012 10:52 AM
By: Tracy Dingmann,

The national animal advocacy group Animal Legal Defense Fund has named New Mexico one of the "five best states in the country to be an animal abuser."

According to a news release from the fund, the report was based on a detailed comparative analysis of more than 4,000 pages of statutes in fifteen broad categories of provisions.

The fund says its report "recognizes the states where animal law has real teeth and calls out those like New Mexico – one of the worst in the nation for animal protection laws– where animal abusers get off easy."

The report faults New Mexico for having " felony provisions for neglect or abandonment, no provisions on sexual assault, no restrictions on future ownership of animals following a conviction, no increased penalties when animal abuse is committed in front of children, and no provisions for veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse."

The report continues:

"In addition, humane officers lack broad enforcement authority, and the state has inadequate animal fighting provisions."

The fund's annual state rankings examines all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories for the general comprehensiveness and relative strength of their respective animal protection laws.

The report said the “worst five states for animal abusers” are Illinois, Maine, California, Oregon, and Michigan - saying their laws demonstrate the strongest commitment to combating animal cruelty.

The full report, including a rankings map, chart, and overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the animal protection laws of the best and worst states, is available at