As outlined by Wolfson, laws give the perception of protecting farm animals but, in reality, provide little or no protection. Federal law fails to provide any protection to farm animals on the farm. Moreover, while many state cruelty laws still cover farm animals in theory, they are rarely if ever applied. And most disconcerting is the trend of farm animals being increasingly excluded from the reach of state cruelty laws.
Spira, H. (1995). Do animal protection laws dupe the public?. AWI Quarterly, 44(1).