Animal Law News

The dangers of a monotonous diet: Crazed cannibal hamsters

A diet of corn is turning wild hamsters in north-eastern France into deranged cannibals that devour their offspring, researchers have reported.

Once nourished by a variety of grains, roots and insects, the burrowing rodents live today in a semi-sterile and unbroken ocean of industrially grown maize, or corn.
 
The monotonous diet is leaving the animals starving, scientists discovered almost by accident. The problem is a lack of vitamins. In fact, one in particular: B3, or niacin.
 
Researchers led by Mathilde Tissier at...more >>

Turning dragonflies into tiny cyborg drones

One company has decided the ideal tiny drone should take its cues from the natural world of insects — specifically the dragonfly. 
 
When Draper, an independent biomedical solutions lab, set out to make its own mini-fliers, it cut out the middleman. It got some of the insects and outfitted them with cutting-edge navigation, synthetic biology and neurotechnology systems to create a swarm of cyborg dragonfly drones.     
 
The tiny hybrids are part of an internal R&D project at Draper called, appropriately...more >>

USDA blacks out animal welfare information

It's been reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently removed public access to tens of thousands of reports that document the numbers of animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters—and whether those animals are being treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. 

 
The apparent reason: ...more >>

Clone your pet for $100,000

Saying farewell to a beloved pet can understandably be traumatic. So is there a "market" for cloning a pet? At least one company thinks so.

While ethical questions would likely be asked, the fact is that scientific advances involving genetic manipulation are already a reality. And under law, animals are property not people - so would you clone your pet for $100,000?
 
See more at 

Can you rely on the veterinarian as an expert witness?

Veterinarians are commonly referred to as society's "animal health and welfare experts". So it comes as no surprise that veterinarians are often asked to provide reports to courts describing factual observations and providing their "expert" opinion on the presence or absence of unnecessary suffering in animals. 
 
But is there consistency among veterinarians regarding their assessment of what constitutes "unnecessary suffering"?
 
A recent report concludes that there is significant variation...more >>

Thinking about animal research from a different perspective

The use of animals in research continues to be one of the more contentious subjects for those who have interests involving animals and their welfare.

So how are you defining the word "research"? When you think about "animal research", what comes to mind?
 
Nature is wonderfully abundant, diverse and mysterious — but biological research today tends to focus on only seven species, including rats, chickens, fruit flies and us. We're studying an astonishingly narrow sliver of life, says biologist Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, and...more >>

The Sentencing of Dangerous Dogs and Dangerous Owners

"There are no bad dogs, there are just bad owners" is a phrase commonly used within dog behavioural training circles. Discussions in which the phrase occurs often demonstrate varying opinion as to how accurate the statement is, and there are frequently references to dogs that are exceptions to the commonly held generalisation. But what everybody usually agrees on, is that there is a principle of "responsibility" that attaches to the owner. That same principle is reflected in law.
 
The question is, how does the law portion consequences...more >>

Should we keep a record of people that abuse animals?

Animal abusers registers. Should governors keep a record of people that abuse animals?

 
"Should" is always such a subjective term. So perhaps the question might be "what are the arguments, for and against, keeping a record of people that abuse animals"?
 
If a person is convicted of an animal welfare offence, then one of the potential penalties that the court may consider is application of a banning order, which prevents the convicted individual from owning, or having responsibility for, animals in the future. From a...more >>

New ISO specification for better management of animal welfare worldwide

 
The new ISO technical specification ISO/TS 34700:2016, Animal welfare management – General requirements and guidance for organizations in the food supply chain, is promoted on the basis that it will help the food and feed industry to develop an animal welfare plan that is aligned with the principles of the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code (TAHC)* and ensure the welfare of farm animals across the supply chain.
 
ISO/TS 34700 is the result of a joint effort between ISO and the OIE following the...more >>

Study suggests surprising reason killer whales go through menopause

 
There are many reasons that promote the development of animal protection law. Bio-prejudice is a term that has been used to describe a preference, or aversion, to a species based on its similarities to people. For example, people are generally more supportive of protecting species like pandas, elephants and whales than many other species e.g. spiders
 
And there is a definite link and animal protections for a species when science identifies traits that have people thinking "they are like us". And sometimes, the similarities can be...more >>