Don't Be Cruel (Anymore): A Look at the Animal Cruelty Regimes of the United States and Brazil with a Call for a New Animal Welfare Agency

45 Pages Posted: 29 Feb 2016

See all articles by David N. Cassuto

David N. Cassuto

Pace University - School of Law

Cayleigh Eckhardt

Pace University

Date Written: February 27, 2016


In the United States and around the world, animals exploited for human use suffer cruel and needless harm. The group bearing the brunt of this exploitation — agricultural animals — is routinely exempted from the largely ineffective and rarely enforced animal welfare and anti-cruelty regulations that exist today. This Article offers a comparative analysis of the agricultural animal welfare regimes of two countries with globally significant presence in the agriculture industry: the United States and Brazil. Even though the two countries approach agricultural animal welfare differently, they arrive at the same outcome: institutionalized indifference to animal suffering. To remedy the current regulatory structure, this Article proposes the creation of an independent federal agency — The Animal Welfare Agency (“AWA”) — to regulate the safety and welfare of all animals, including those used in agriculture. The AWA could significantly reduce systemic animal cruelty in both the United States and Brazil and represent an important step toward inserting morality and ethics into our relationships with animals.

Keywords: animal law, animal welfare, administrative law, comparative law, Brazil, environmental law, agriculture law, industrial agriculture, factory farming

JEL Classification: K10, Q18, K11, K23, K32, K39, K42, K29, Q19, Q20, Q28, Z00, P52, N50, L50, H70, H53, H10, H11, G38

Suggested Citation

Cassuto, David N. and Eckhardt, Cayleigh, Don't Be Cruel (Anymore): A Look at the Animal Cruelty Regimes of the United States and Brazil with a Call for a New Animal Welfare Agency (February 27, 2016). Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2016. Available at SSRN:

David N. Cassuto (Contact Author)

Pace University - School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

Cayleigh Eckhardt

Pace University ( email )

One Pace Plaza
White Plains, NY New York 10603
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information