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Illinois is considered a top state for animal welfare. Here are some of its recently-passed laws.

Ledy Van Kavage, a senior legislative attorney, with the Best Friends Animal Society.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Ledy Van Kavage, a senior legislative attorney, with the Best Friends Animal Society.

A new slate of laws meant to protect animals will go into effect in Illinois come Jan. 1. The number of laws passed in the recent legislative session has skyrocketed the state to be considered the first-ranked in the nation in terms of animal welfare, by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Missouri, on the other hand, is ranked 36th. 

"Missouri could do a lot better, but you see such impasse," said Ledy VanKavage, a senior legislative attorney with the Best Friends Animal Society

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, VanKavage joined host Don Marsh discussed some of the new laws and what separates Illinois from Missouri. 

In the past year, Illinois passed seven animal welfare-related laws, VanKavage said. One designated that shelter dogs or cats are the statewide pet. Another made it so that judges must consider the best interests of a companion pet in the case of a divorce. 

Illinois also became the first state to ban the use of elephants in circuses. It also gave counties the capability to fund trap/neuter/vaccinate/and return programs as part of the Illinois Pet Population Control Fund and gave pet stores the abilities to microchip dogs and casts they sell. 

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.
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