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THE A-LAW BLOG

Welcome to our Animal Law Blog

Welcome to the newest section of the website which features blog posts from lawyers, academics, law students and others interested in animal law. Please note that the views expressed in these posts are not necessarily those of A-law. To submit a piece for our blog, please contact our Blog Editor, Randi Milgram.

North Carolina’s ‘Ag-Gag Law’ Declared Unconstitutional

By Addison Luck, Earth Law Manager for the Earth Law Center In 2016, eight American organizations, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), challenged North Carolina’s controversial ‘ag-gag lawi’ as...
29th Jul 20

Changes in Wuhan: A Temporary Reprieve for the Wildlife of China

By Denise Ho, student at Durham University Following the outbreak of Covid-19, regulations in China have attracted a great deal of attention. The main piece of legislation governing China’s use of its environment is called The Law of the...
23rd Jul 20

Hen Harrier Brood Management in England

By Luke Steele, Masters student at the University of Bradford, Managing Director and Spokesperson of Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors   At first glance, the Hen Harrier Recovery Plan (DEFRA, 2016) looks positive: a protection scheme for at-risk hen...
10th Jul 20

Book review | Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach, by Gary Francione

Review by Erin Lanza, student at BPP University Gary Francione, the controversial legal scholar, author, and professor of animal rights, begins this book with a promise: ‘This book is about a revolution––a revolution of the heart’. A promoter of...
23rd Jun 20

The Role of Beavers in UK Ecosystems

by Sophie Lunn The Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber), formerly a native inhabitant of Britain, became locally extinct in the 16th century due to anthropogenic persecution and the classification of their species as vermin. Some studies show bounties placed on the head of the...
17th Jun 20

From Victorians to the Modern Day: The Truth About UK Tiger Kings

by Emma Hinds Like many other people in lockdown, I have turned to Netflix for solace. One of the shows dominating public conversation lately is Tiger King. With murder, mayhem, and madness, it’s the ultimate binge show, but alongside...
15th Jun 20

Courts to Cats’ Rescue – Animal Rights During Lockdown

By Adithi Rao, student at ILS Law College, Pune, India During this pandemic, the Indian judiciary has been open only for urgent matters, which included a writ petition filed by a gentleman in Eranakulam, Kerala. Due to the rampant...
12th Jun 20

Book Review: Lucy’s Law – The story of a little dog who changed the world, by Marc Abraham

By Mina da Rui, LLM student In 21st century Great Britain, legal reasoning paths are slowly widening as human rights, environmental dysfunction, and animal injustice come to the fore of public consciousness. Animal law is a niche area of...
10th Jun 20

Judicial Review of UK Oil Law and the Danger to Seahorses

By Erin Lanza During the early part of 2020, environmental and animal advocates turned their attention toward the devastating losses of wildlife in Australia. In a vastly different habitat, irresponsible human activity threatens the lives of seahorses. These animals...
8th Jun 20

Golden Eagles: A Persecuted Species

By Daniel Ball, solicitor  Somewhere in the bleak and unforgiving Scottish Highlands, golden eagles are persecuted for so-called ‘sport’. Grouse shooting is the hunting of red grouse between August and December each year. Large areas of land were devoted...
29th May 20

Deforestation, Palm Oil, and the Effects on Wildlife

By Rosie Paine, student at University of Winchester Deforestation, the cutting down of trees in a large area, or the destruction of trees by people, is one of the leading causes of climate change and species extinction. Within the...
27th May 20

Book Review: Racism as Zoological Witchcraft: A Guide to Getting Out, by Aph Ko

Review by Erin Lanza In this book, media studies scholar and theorist Aph Ko presents a novel approach to considering animal rights, one that destabilises colonial logic and locates problematic racial hierarchies as central to our exploitation of nonhuman...
22nd May 20

Aquatic Animal Law Initiative Raises Awareness of Blue Revolution

Ed. note: Please enjoy this piece originally intended for World Aquatic Animal Day in April. We share in support of the Aquatic Animal Law Initiative and the Animal Law Clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School, as part of...
20th May 20

The effect of Covid-19 on Animal Shelters in Thailand

By Alice Kennedy, trainee solicitor   Lanta Animal Welfare In the summer of 2014, I volunteered at Lanta Animal Welfare (LAW) in Koh Lanta, an island in Thailand’s Krabi Province. The animal shelter and veterinary practice needed people to...
18th May 20

How to set up an animal law course at your university

by Danielle Duffield, solicitor   FIRST: Form an A-law student group; become an ambassador at your university to raise the profile of the field If you would like your university to offer an animal law course, you could start...
14th May 20

The Campaign for Compulsory Microchipping of Cats

by Imogen Mellor   Cats Protection campaigns for the mandatory microchipping of owned cats. They state that “cats are independent and curious creatures – part of the reason we love them. But this means that they can end up...
12th May 20

Nonhuman Animals and the Law, by Dr. Sohini Mahapatra

Book Review by Michelle Li Sze Cheng Dr. Sohini Mahaptra dedicates her book Nonhuman Animals and the Law to “all of the wonderful animals around us – companions, strays and the wild, whose contribution in our lives goes unacknowledged.”...
7th May 20

Covid-19 & Wildlife: An Opportunity to Reflect & Change?

By Sophie Lunn, student at Nottingham Trent University   Covid-19, the human illness caused by the novel virus SARS-COV-2, has been causing worry and disruption since it first emerged. Attention immediately turned to its origin: where did this new virus come from? Despite all the efforts made in China to contain the virus, it has become...
6th May 20
Green Criminology Book Review

MARCH BOOK REVIEW: Emerging Issues in Green Criminology: Exploring Power, Justice and Harm

Emerging Issues in Green Criminology: Exploring Power, Justice and Harm Edited by Reece Walters, Diane Solomon Westerhuis and Tanya Wyatt. Review by Paula Sparks ‘This edited collection brings together internationally renowned scholars to explore green criminology through the interdisciplinary...
28th Mar 20

A Recap of A-law’s Animals and Wildlife Law Seminar By Charlotte Edgar

On February 12, 2020, a seminar on Animals and Wildlife Law was held by the UK Centre for Animal Law at the University of Dundee. The seminar was attended by a wide-ranging audience, including members of the legal profession,...
2nd Mar 20

University of Aberdeen Law Students Assist with Scottish Bill Submission

As law students, we spend more time studying than experiencing the actual law-making process. Since we all have a strong interest in animal welfare and related studies at the University of Aberdeen, we excitedly welcomed the opportunity to work...
25th Feb 20

The Ramifications of Breeding Brachycephalic Dogs

By Julia Lee Heaving and wheezing, panting and collapsing, brachycephalic dogs struggle to breathe and survive due to severe morphological abnormalities, including the recognised characteristics of short-face and airway obstruction. Brachycephalic dogs includes pugs, bulldogs, boxers, and Staffordshire terriers....
11th Feb 20

The recognition of ‘ethical veganism’ under the law

by Sharan Chohan A recent case has garnered a great deal of media coverage for recognising ‘ethical veganism’ as protected under the law. An Employment Tribunal recognised ethical veganism as a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, which...
14th Jan 20

January Book Review: Bridget Martin’s Survival or Extinction? How to Save Elephants and Rhinos

Review by Julie Elizabeth Boyd The book Survival or Extinction? is dedicated to an animal named Sudan: “For Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, who, unlike so many other rhinos, was fortunate enough to pass away peacefully, in...
13th Jan 20

Punky Santics, Canada’s Every Dog, Seeks Leave to the Supreme Court of Canada By Victoria Shroff

One of the most important animal law matters to be heard in a British Columbia courtroom may soon reach the Supreme Court of Canada. Appellant Susan Santics and her dog, Punky, have been literally fighting for Punky’s life in...
20th Dec 19

How the Trump Administration is Gutting the Endangered Species Act by Laura Jackson

In the USA, the Endangered Species Act 1973 was passed with bipartisan support under Richard Nixon. The Act expanded greatly upon its predecessors: the Endangered Species Preservation Act 1966, which permitted listing native U.S. animal species that needed protection...
20th Dec 19

October Book of the Month: ‘Animal Dignity Protection in Swiss Law – Status Quo and Future Perspectives’ by Gieri Bollinger

An inspiring book and useful guide to anyone following discussions about legal recognition of sentient animals in the United Kingdom post Brexit (when Article 13, Treaty of Functioning of the European Union will no longer apply). The book outlines...
29th Oct 19

The Inaugural Canadian Animal Law Conference by Michelle Strauss

The first ever Canadian Animal Law Conference was hosted by the Schulich School of Law and Animal Justice in Halifax on October 4-6. Three A-law members attended and presented at the conference: Edie Bowles, Danielle Duffield, and me. To...
27th Oct 19

Jallikattu: A Tradition of Torture By Shubhendu Shekhar

A widely practiced activity in the Southern part of the Indian subcontinent is called jallikattu. Typically practiced in the state of Tamil Nadu, jallikattu is a traditional spectacle in which a bull is released into a crowd. Human participants...
20th Oct 19

September Book of the Month: ‘Beyond Cages: Animal Law and Criminal Punishment’ by Justin Marceau

Justin Marceau’s ground-breaking work challenges a widely held belief within the animal protection movement: that more severe criminal punishments against animal abusers advance protections for animals. The book persuasively argues that the movement should pause to consider whether these...
25th Sep 19

Illinois joins the battle against animal testing By Jasmine Korab-Karpowicz

Illinois recently became the third U.S. state to ban animal testing, after California and Nevada passed similar legislation in the past year. The passing of bill SB 241 is a huge accomplishment  and, hopefully, a step towards reducing the...
18th Sep 19

How Insufficient Law Enforcement is Failing the Gorillas in the DRC by Riley Forson

The Democratic Republic of Congo (the DRC) is one of just a handful of locations where gorillas still roam freely in the wild. In fact, the Grauer’s gorilla subspecies, or eastern lowland gorilla, is only found in the eastern...
1st Sep 19

JULY BOOK OF THE MONTH: ‘FABULOUS FINN’ BY Dave Wardell and Lynne Barrett-Lee

We are giving you with a feel-good book for the summer. Fabulous Finn by Dave Wardell and Lynne Barrett-Lee tells the story behind Finn’s Law, which came into force earlier this year. Many people will now be familiar with...
27th Jul 19

Three Canadian Lawyers Shaping the Future for Animals By Kate Fowler

This is the final piece in a series focusing on the female lawyers featured in the multimedia documentary project Unbound, co-founded by acclaimed photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur (We Animals, The Ghosts in Our Machine) and Dr Keri Cronin (Department of Visual...
21st Jul 19

Canada’s “Free Willy” Bill on Whale and Dolphin Captivity By Debbie Lee

When the film “Free Willy” played in cinemas in 1993, animal lovers celebrated the scene where Willy, an orca long held in captivity, finally broke free. This captivating, uplifting climax of the film saw Willy leaping through the water,...
7th Jul 19

Animal sentience within the law – an international perspective by Grace Hudson

Animal sentience broadly refers to the ability of animals to feel, for example, by experiencing pain, pleasure, or suffering. Scientific literature generally accepts that all vertebrate species are sentient, and increasing research shows that invertebrate species are also sentient....
26th Jun 19

June Book of the Month: ‘Fellow Creatures – Our Obligations to the Other Animals’ by Christine M. Korsgaard

Each month we will be featuring a ‘Book of the month.’ We will be selecting from books about animals that our readership finds interesting and informative. If you come across an interesting animal related book (science, law, ethics, policy...
16th Jun 19
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Three lawyers winning the fight for animals by Kate Fowler

In recent years, animal law has flourished, with extraordinarily talented and courageous women entering the field. Among them are these three women, all of whom have been featured by Unbound, the multimedia documentary project celebrating women in animal advocacy....
13th Jun 19

Gizmo’s Legacy Set for UK Parliament Debate: A Breakthrough for Cat Owners Across the UK By Gemma Ali

Gizmo was 16 years old, the long-beloved cat of Helena Abrahams. Gizmo went out to play in July 2016, but never returned home: she was in a road traffic accident. Even though Gizmo had a microchip, she was disposed...
11th Jun 19

A Profile of Joyce Tischler, the Mother of Animal Law, by Kate Fowler

This piece is the first in a series focusing on the female lawyers featured in the multimedia documentary project Unbound, co-founded by acclaimed photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur (We Animals, The Ghosts in Our Machine) and Dr Keri Cronin (Department of...
27th May 19

May Book of the Month: ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree

You would be forgiven for wondering why a book about re-wilding a British farm features in our book of the month series. In fact, it is recommended reading for anyone at all concerned with wildlife and farming policy, species...
27th May 19

The Necessity of Pet Theft Reform – Because a Dog is a Man’s Best Friend by Josephine Burnett

Under the current law, no distinction is made between the theft of pets and the theft of possessions. Both are treated the same, meaning that in the eyes of the law, pets are considered as little more than inanimate...
6th May 19

April Book of the Month: ‘Sentience and Animal Welfare’ by Professor Donald Broom

Each month we will be featuring a ‘Book of the month.’ We will be selecting from books about animals that our readership finds interesting and informative. If you come across an interesting animal related book (science, law, ethics, policy...
25th Apr 19

Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) Conference 2019

Paula Sparks and Natalie Harney report on the Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) Conference 2019. We had the recent privilege of attending the second conference hosted by WAWC, a body that provides independent advice about the welfare of free-living...
23rd Apr 19

The Reality of Horse Drawn Carriages by Amy Taylor

When visiting iconic cities such as London or New York City, many tourists are enchanted by the sight of horse-drawn carriages. To some, the use of horse-drawn carriages is a delightful activity. Others, however, perceive this as a cruel...
24th Mar 19

To Cull Or Not To Cull, This Should Never Be A Question: Why Culling Africa’s Elephants Is Not The Answer To Conservation By Riley Forson

The late Dame Daphne Sheldrick stated: “No animal triggers more heated debate within conservation circles than the elephant, for no animal has greater impact on the environment or is more “human” emotionally”. One of the greatest debates surrounding the...
17th Mar 19

The Sustainability Paradox: Palm Oil’s Continued Destruction of the Orangutans By Riley Forson

Iceland’s Christmas advert has reminded the public of the deadly struggle between the palm oil industry and the very survival of the Bornean and Sumatran Orangutans. Both the Bornean and Sumatran Orangutans are critically endangered species listed on the...
24th Dec 18

My time as an MSc Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law student at the University of Glasgow by Megan Baker

Last September, I began studying an MSc in Animal Welfare, Science, Ethics and Law at the University of Glasgow. The course is split into three semesters: the first focusing on science research skills, the second ethics and law, with...
28th Oct 18

Donkey Attractions are not Attractive: How Spanish traditions and tourist attractions are causing donkey cruelty by Riley Forson

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always held a special place in my heart for donkeys. This summer I visited El Refugio Del Burrito, and, as always, was humbled by the warmth and affection of the...
23rd Oct 18

Pepys, Phyla & Philosophy: A History of Animal Welfare Law in the UK (Part One) by Corrina Lewis

This is the first in a series of posts focusing on the history and philosophy of UK animal law, containing a brief overview and looking at some of the people whose ideas have shaped the view of animals that...
14th Oct 18

Nature’s Slaves: The Dark Side of Elephant Tourism in Asia by Riley Forson

When we think of elephants we conjure the image of a gentle giant wandering free. For the Asian elephant that would be in its jungle habitat found in India, Thailand and the Malay Peninsula. As a species, many of...
16th Sep 18

Want to study animal law? How will you choose the right masters for you? by Ann Broadhurst

Animal welfare is a very important topic, and the future of it depends on animal laws. For those who wish to study animal law, what options are available and how accessible is the information? Undertaking a masters course is...
23rd Jun 18

Conservation in the Tsavo National Park, Kenya by Hon. Justice Nzioki Wa Makau

Nzioki Wa Makau sits as a judge at the Industrial Court of Kenya and is Chairman of the Tsavo Trust. He has enjoyed a distinguished career in the Kenyan anti-corruption movement, having previously held positions at the Kenya Anti-Corruption...
1st Jun 18

Tennessee Walking Horse Cruelty: By Rachel Smith

Image above: CounterCanter, Flickr Performance equine shows are a regular occurrence in many communities throughout the United States and demonstrate the incredible bond between horse and rider. However, the motivation to achieve the ‘perfect show horse’ can lead to...
1st May 18

Greyhounds Lose Out To Greed: by Rachel Smith

Image above: Nancy W Beach As a student of Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law, I have closely followed developments in this divisive debate. In Australia, modern greyhound racing began in 1927 and there are now 19 tracks across six states, predominately in...
25th Apr 18

Why stricter sentencing for animal cruelty matters more than you think: By Alice Oven

Amidst fears of chlorine chickens and cheap low-welfare imports, a beacon of light for post-Brexit animal welfare has emerged in the form of Gove’s promise to increase the maximum sentence for serious animal cruelty in England. This draft bill,...
15th Apr 18

A call on Parliament for the ban on wild-animal circuses in England: A Personal Perspective by Prabhgat Kaur Sekhon, LPC Graduate

On 20 December 2017, the Scottish Parliament voted to pass the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill, adding to a growing number of European states who have made it an offence for circus operators to use wild animals...
10th Mar 18

Introducing Stop Animal Sexual Assault (SASA), by Katherine Goodman, J.D.

Katherine Goodman is a graduate of the Animal Law LLM program at Lewis & Clark Law School and is the founder of Stop Animal Sexual Assault (SASA), a non-profit that seeks to raise awareness about animal sexual assault in...
6th Feb 18

INTRODUCING ANIMAL LAW IN ZIMBABWE, AFRICA by Advocate Ever V. Chinoda

It was beyond my imagination to even think of how I would introduce the subject of animal law and the five freedoms of animal welfare to Africans, who are unemployed, dying of hunger and thirst. I found it weird...
21st Jan 18

‘Sentient beings’ and ‘tradable products:’ exploring the status of animals under European Union law by Katy Sowery

Katy Sowery is a PhD candidate in EU law at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests include constitutional law and the law relating to animals. *This is a summary of an article due to be published in the Common...
7th Jan 18
Lewis & Clark

Studying Animal Law at Lewis & Clarke in the USA by Alice Collinson

Alice Collinson on attending the Animal Law LL.M at L ewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, U.S. Alice completed the Animal Law Masters in September 2017, following six years’ in private practice in London, as a civil...
26th Nov 17

Volunteering for the WSPA by Eirian Whitehead

“I have always loved animals and as an LPC student I have been able to progress from my dreams of becoming the next Joy Adamson.” Eirian Whitehead on volunteering for the WSPA Eirian studied a history degree at King’s...
31st Aug 16

Ritual Slaughter by Dr Peter Bowen Walker

“Animal welfare, freedom of thought and conscience, and a free internal market are all core principles of the EU. Yet… these core principles are compromised to a greater or lesser extent in relation to the ritual slaughter issue.” Dr...
31st Aug 16

Why Animal Law? by Sam Hawke

“At some point, you realise that reliance on bare species membership as the primary criterion for moral status is indefensible, and you (begrudgingly) let it go.” Sam Hawke explains why animal law is the way to go Sam is...
31st Aug 16

Pursuing animal law: an Australian student’s perspective by Sally Jones

“As a teenager the three most influential features of my academic life were the environment, the law, and animal advocacy… I was introduced to animal law at 15, when I was handed an animal rights pamphlet.” Sally Jones shares...
31st Aug 16

Book Review: ‘Leviathan or, The Whale’ by Philip Hoare

Grace Wright, a BPTC student at BPP, was the runner-up in our 2015 Student Essay Competition. In this blog post she reviews Philip Hoare’s book, “Leviathan or, The Whale”. An eclectic blend of autobiography, travelogue, nature essay, social history and...
25th Aug 16

ALAW Animal Law Guide to the Legal Implications of Brexit

In light of last week’s referendum decision to leave the EU, we have put together a short guide to the legal implications of exiting the EU. It is important to emphasise that the position at the present time is...
1st Jul 16

Steven M. Wise’s Talk at Doughty Street Chambers by Randi Milgram

On June 13 2016, ALAW was honored to host Steven M. Wise at the Doughty Street Chambers. A professor of animal rights at several U.S. law schools and an esteemed author on the subject, Mr. Wise is also the...
15th Jun 16

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