Companion Animals

The Companion Animal Law Group helps to lead and shape A-LAW’s response to legal and policy matters affecting the interests of companion animals, the domesticated animals we humans have the closest bonds with and most commonly interact with.

We do this by carrying out legal and policy research, hosting events about companion animal law issues, and responding to Government proposals and consultations. The Group is led by Randi J. Milgram (attorney) and Debbie Rooke (legal academic at Northumbria University).

Randi and Debbie

Our policy objectives! What we’re doing…

to further the interests of the millions of companion animals we share our lives with.

The Companion Animal Law Working Group guides A-LAW’s response to legal issues relating to the welfare of animals kept as companions. We aim to improve the lives of companion animals and their owners through efforts to reform relevant laws, to educate the public, and to promote understanding of existing laws and policies. Our work includes responding to relevant government consultations and calls for evidence; examining legal decisions that concern companion animals; assisting with pet-friendly campaigns; and more.

Although the UK arguably has some of the strongest laws in the world to protect domesticated animals kept as companions, there are still gaps and many people are unaware that there is a lack of protection for invertebrate species. Similarly, many studies have documented problems with the enforcement of laws and we want to see more robust legislation, properly enforced.

We also believe in looking at the bigger picture such as whether some species (such as non-domesticated exotic animals and primates) are suitable to be kept as companions at all and, if they are, how society can safeguard their welfare.  We seek to inject legal expertise into these important debates that civil society is grappling with about our relationship with animals and how we can adequately safeguard their interests.

We contribute legal expertise to policy initiatives and publish legal briefing papers, as well as ensuring that public debate is properly informed.  We also raise awareness of animal interests within traditional areas of law such as housing (no pet policies) and family (including the impact of domestic abuse upon companion animals and the red flags that might raise for other vulnerable groups) and we promote the seriousness of animal abuse within the criminal justice system.

The Group is led by Randi Milgram and is supported by Research Associate Jessica Ward. We welcome interest from anyone interested in supporting the group’s work. If you would like to find out more about how you can be involved, please email [email protected].

Our current projects! What we’re working on…

to improve how the law and policy works for companion animals.

Criminal Justice & enforcement

Housing & Blanket 'No Pet' Policies

Domestic Abuse

Breeding for extreme characteristics

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Monckton Chambers
1 & 2 Raymond Buildings
Gray’s Inn

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