University of Maryland Extension

Frequently Asked Questions: What Is the Difference Between an Animal Welfare Statute and a Right-to-Farm Statute?

Ashley Newhall and Paul Goeringer

Photo by Edwin Remsberg

This post should not be construed as legal advice


            You often present us with questions looking to strengthen Maryland’s Right-to-Farm law or one of the county right-to-farm ordinances.  Sometimes the questions relate to strengthening these laws in relationship to animal husbandry practices.  For example, a cattle producer may have concerns that leaving young calves outside in the cold may draw complaints from neighbors or passersby.  Should the producer look towards the right-to-farm laws for protection or the animal welfare law?  Let’s look at what each law covers to see what could be the best avenue for the producer in this example.

To read more about the distinction between right-to-farm statutes and animal welfare statutes, click over to the Maryland Risk Management Education Blog.


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