Animal Law- Swindon (UK) 15/16 January 2013
Debbie Rook and David Bailey are pleased to be able to introduce the topic of law as it applies to animals. From property to personhood-status the two days of lectures, discussion and debate aim to deliver a view of the law from academic, philosophical and application angles. The two days are non jurisdictional and provide a background into the law and laws as they apply to animals, animal welfare and trade in animal derivatives.
Animal Law: Vet - Forensics course
The offence of causing unnecessary suffering to domestic animals remains a pivotal concept in animal welfare legislation regardless of the jurisdiction and students can expect some interesting debates on the nature of the necessity of animal suffering. Being able to identify suffering and quantify it as a Veterinarian explaining it in a report or court room testimony is a difficult task and experience in this area is shared by David Bailey (Forensic Scientist and Veterinarian).
A particularly exciting area of animal law concerns the question of whether animals can be legal persons. At present the law divides persons from things. Animals are 'things' at law and cannot have legal rights. There are, however, laws to protect the welfare of some animals. But there is now a growing movement for granting some animals, e.g., adult chimpanzees, some basic legal rights, e.g. freedom from torture and slavery. Attempts have been made in a number of recent international cases to challenge the status quo. This is cutting-edge law which promises exciting times ahead.
Underlying many of these specific topics is the question of whether animals have moral rights/interests. This raises a fascinating philosophical debate about the nature of our moral obligations to other sentient beings.
- To explore the concept of 'unnecessary suffering' - a pivotal concept in animal protection law
- To critically analyse court judgments on the interpretation of animal protection laws, using cases studies relating to farm animals
- To examine the legal status of animals as property and analyse the recent international legal challenges to this
- To critically analyse the developing area of pet custody disputes in divorce as a case study for the implications of property status
- To examine some of the jurisprudential theories on the moral status of animals, e.g., utilitarianism, rights theory, and consider the application of these theories to our current use of animals