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Category : Blog

29 Oct 2019

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 the progressive attitude in Switzerland to the legislative and constitutional protection of animals. Unlike the UK, the legislature in Switzerland is not only empowered to bring in laws protecting animals, a constitutional amendment obliges it to do so. Another significant and […]

27 Oct 2019

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 open the event, the highly esteemed philosopher – and according to some, the father of the modern animal rights movement – Professor Peter Singer gave the keynote speech. From a utilitarian perspective, Singer stated that the most pressing issue facing the […]

20 Oct 2019

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 attempt to grab the large hump on the bull’s back with both arms and hang on while the bull attempts to escape. Whoever tames the bull is the winner. It’s difficult to argue against tradition and culture, but Indian’s animal cruelty […]

25 Sep 2019

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 efforts to implement tougher sentences for animal abuse are in fact effective, or morally justifiable. Marceau reflects on the animal protection movement in the United States by considering the work of animal advocates to alongside other struggles for social justice. In […]

18 Sep 2019

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 number of animals used for research purposes. Last month, SB 241 passed in the legislature, and with the governor’s approval became Public Act 101-0303, which amends the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This new Act sets out that it is […]

01 Sep 2019

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 DRC. According to the WWF, Gorillas share 98.3% of their DNA with humans, making them our closest cousins after bonobos and chimpanzees, with shocking intellectual and emotional similarities to humans. But gorillas have been decreasing in number for decades. A 2010 […]

27 Jul 2019

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 the story of Finn, the police dog who is the subject of this book. Finn was seriously injured in the line of duty, and this book recounts the circumstances and aftermath of Finn’s attack, including the impact of the attack, both […]

21 Jul 2019

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 Arts, Brock University). Find out more at unboundproject.org In Canada, as elsewhere, the field of animal law is burgeoning. Here, we speak with three exceptional lawyers, all committed vegans, who use the law as a tool for animal liberation. Lesli Bisgould is a […]

07 Jul 2019

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, through the air, and over his young human friend as he shouted “Go Willy!” After a lifetime of being captive in a small tank, forced to entertain the public day in, day out, this magnificent whale was finally free. Soon, whales […]

26 Jun 2019

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.[1] As early as the 1800s, Darwin proposed that some animals were capable of self-consciousness, a trait previously assumed to be solely human. Research has since shown that animals including dolphins, elephants, and magpies are capable of mirror self-recognition.[2] Despite the extensive […]