A national animal protection organization has ranked Oregon fourth among states for its animal welfare laws.

According to a report released this week by The Animal Legal Defense Fund, '2011 U.S. Animal Protection Law Rankings,' Oregon trailed only Illinois, Maine and Michigan. The report cited new Oregon laws that allow animals to be included in domestic violence protective orders.

The five worst states for animal protection laws, according to the report, are Kentucky, North Dakota, Idaho, Iowa and South Dakota.

The report credits Oregon for felony penalties on animal cruelty convictions, enhanced penalties for repeat offenders, mandatory bans on animal ownership following animal abuse convictions and strong anti-animal fighting provisions.

In addition, the report noted that in Oregon, veterinarians are required to report cases of suspected animal cruelty.

• Click here to read the animal law rankings report.

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