Talking Animal Law Podcast

Welcome to our brand new Talking Animal Law podcast. Join A-LAW Chairperson, Paula Sparks, every fortnight for a new episode to hear from leading experts on important animal law and policy topics.

Latest Episode

#9 A legal perspective on puppy farming and dog theft in Ireland

We discuss the puppy trade and dog theft in Ireland with Dr. Stephanie O’ Flynn, a Lecturer in Law in the Department of Law and Criminal Justice at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. Stephanie has a particular interest in the legal treatment of dogs, and in this episode she talks about some of the challenges posed by low welfare breeding, dog theft and the pandemic.

Let’s talk about animals! A new way to discover more…

about the important animal law and policy topics of the day from leading experts.

Episode #9: A legal perspective on puppy farming and dog theft in Ireland

We discuss the puppy trade and dog theft in Ireland with Dr. Stephanie O’ Flynn, a Lecturer in Law in the Department of Law and Criminal Justice at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. Stephanie has a particular interest in the legal treatment of dogs, and in this episode she talks about some of the challenges posed by low welfare breeding, dog theft and the pandemic.

Episode #8: Proposed restrictions on the import of dogs into Great Britain

With a consultation into the Commercial and Non-Commercial Movement of Pets into Great Britain due to close on 16 Oct 2021, we ask three campaigners (Marc Abraham, Sarah Dixon and Jordan Shelley) at the forefront of the fight against ‘puppy farms’ and ear cropping, respectively, for their views on import restrictions for dogs with cropped ears or docked tails or under 6 months of age. We ask specifically, should the government exempt animal rescue and re-homing organisations from these restrictions?

Episode #7: Should pet abduction be a specific offence?

In this episode, we discuss the case for a specific crime of pet abduction. Should the criminal justice system treat the theft of companion animals in the same way as the theft of inanimate property or does the law need reform? We talk to John Cooper QC, who has been advising the pet theft campaign.

Episode #6: Non stun slaughter and religious freedoms: finding a balance

Warning: some listeners may find content distressing Dr Joe Wills from Leicester Law School, discusses the decision in Centraal Israëlitisch Consistorie van België and Others. In this case, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Member States could require pre-stunning of animals before slaughter, without infringing fundamental human rights. There has to be a balance between promoting animal welfare and respecting the rights of those in religious communities to practice their beliefs.

Episode #5: Domestic abuse: are animals a missing link?

Warning: adult themes, not suitable for children. ‘Where animals are abused, people are at risk and where people are abused, animals are at risk.’ That is the central message of this episode, in which we consider what can be learnt about domestic abuse and coercive control when we take the time to consider the animal within the home. What does this tell us and how can we protect vulnerable family members?

Episode #4: Nowzad, ‘Praying for a miracle’

In this special edition, Peter Egan, actor, animal advocate and ambassador for the charity Nowzad, talks about the organisation behind the headlines, including the brave team who at the time of broadcast are facing danger from Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Our thoughts are also with other animal rescues in the region, including Kabul Small Animal Rescue and with all people at heightened risk in this region. The title is taken from Nowzad’s leader, Pen Farthing who in one of his early tweets, asked people to pray for a miracle.

Episode #3: Legal challenges to Government decisions on badger culling and the Ivory Act

Our legal experts discuss two legal cases that made the headlines in 2020. Friends of Antique Cultural Treasures Ltd v DEFRA [2020] EWCA Civ 649, concerning a challenge to the legality of the Ivory Act 2018, and R (National Farmers Union & Anor) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2020] EWHC 1192 (Admin) challenging a decision not to grant licences to kill badgers in furtherance of its policy for control of bovine TB. Barristers Frances Allen and Alan Bates explain what judicial review is, how it was used in each of these respective cases, and what lesson can be learnt from these legal challenges.

Episode #2: Reflecting on a career in animal law with Peter Stevenson

Peter is a qualified lawyer who has worked for nearly three decades in animal welfare. During this time, he played a leading role in winning the EU bans on veal crates, battery cages and sow stalls as well as a new status for animals in EU law as sentient beings. In October 2020, Peter was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, in recognition of his tremendous contributions in the field of animal welfare. Paula talks to Peter talks about his career, the highs and lows, successes and obstacles and what he sees as the challenges ahead.

Episode #1: Pilot

This episode introduces you to our brand new podcast, Talking Animal Law. In this episode we tell you who we are and explain why we are launching this legal podcast focusing exclusively on animals.

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Should pet theft be a specific offence?

Paula talks to John Cooper QC about the case for pet theft reform in episode #7 of our Talking Animal Law podcast.

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