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Category : Blog

14 Jan 2020

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 makes it illegal for somebody to be discriminated against because of protected characteristics including religion or belief, race, sex, age, and disability. Mr Jordi Casamitjana was formerly employed by the League Against Cruel Sports, a charity that campaigns against blood sports. […]

13 Jan 2020

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 the company of loving friends and carers.” Many of us mourned Sudan when he passed away in 2018, as he was the last of his kind. With this dedication, the author reminds us that the battle to save endangered has only […]

20 Dec 2019

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 the groundbreaking, high profile case Santics v. Vancouver (City) Animal Control Officer. The case concerns Punky, a young Australian cattle dog who has been labelled “dangerous”.  Punky’s legal team, of which I am part, recently filed leave to appeal to Canada’s highest […]

20 Dec 2019

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 as ‘endangered’ and granting limited protections; and the 1969 Amendment, which expanded protections by banning important and sale of certain species in danger of worldwide extinction. As established in the comprehensive, completely rewritten 1973 Act Act, individuals and organisations may petition […]

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 […]