Animal Law News

Animals and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This information is provided by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"), CDC page last reviewed: March 16, 2020:

 
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some coronaviruses cause cold-like illnesses in people, while others cause illness in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels, and bats. Some coronaviruses, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals and do not infect humans.
 
Risk to people: We do not know the exact source of this virus. Public health officials and...more >>

Wildlife trade ban as COVID-19 outbreak intensifies

China has banned the trade and consumption of wild animals in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

 
A temporary ban on trade in wildlife announced in January was expected to continue until the epidemic was brought under control. However, with the spread of the disease caused by the virus, known as COVID-19, showing no signs of abating, a more comprehensive ban was passed on Feb. 24 by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), which exercises legislative power in the country.
 
Key points:

Liability in COVID-19 cases?

The Wuhan coronavirus, which is officially known as COVID-19, has affected tens of thousands of people around the world. As the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, people may be wondering about their legal options if they contract this disease or if a family member dies from an infection.

The answer to that question begins with the words "It depends". Accountability and responsibility (commonly referred to as "liability" in a legal context) can vary according to the jurisdiction, the facts and the circumstances of each case.
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COVID-19: another infectious disease emerging at the animal-human interface

The ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak is an example of yet another infectious disease emerging at the animal-human interface, causing considerable concern and disruption as it spreads across international borders. It is remarkable to think that we didn’t know about this new coronavirus a few weeks ago, yet it now dominates news headlines globally and has caused major disruptions to travel and trade.
 
Much of what we have been witnessing is a result of the rapid sharing of information, possibly more than with any other outbreak. The early messaging to...more >>

Herding sheep with a drone and positive reinforcement

Imagine the sheep running to the farmer rather than the traditional picture of farm dogs barking and herding the sheep.
 
Utilising technology in agriculture is nothing new. And most people are familiar with drones and how they work, so there's the assumption that drone technology in agriculture utilises the drones to bark like dogs and herd the sheep. As novel is that may be, that's not the situation for one farmer who has trained the sheep to associate the sound of the drone with food.
 
Those with small farms and a handful...more >>

So you thought that VR was for just for teenagers?

It's been reported that there are a few cows in Moscow who were among the first to try new virtual reality ("VR") headsets that have been specially designed to reduce anxiety and improve milk production. Inside the VR goggles are visions of a “unique summer field simulation” to have the cows thinking they’re frolicking around in their own personal paradise.
 
“According to an analysis of the welfare of dairy cattle by Wageningen University employees in the Netherlands, environmental conditions have a significant impact on...more >>

Three 200-year old principles governing today's animal law

The following is an independent review of the book “Animals, Welfare and the Law” by University of Lincoln Senior Lecturer, Diane Ryland:

This text, based on twenty nine fundamental principles underlying the human/animal relationship, certainly makes the reader take stock and think at the outset. But the author invites his reader to do more: to use these principles, not only as aids to learning but, more importantly, to assess critically, the current state of the law in order to drive the development of animal welfare law. In this way, his ‘...more >>

Rewriting the rule-book from the roots up

International Animal Law ("IAL") is now a registered charity with a focus on seeing legislation recognise AND properly define animal "sentience".

Have you heard the old saying that goes along the lines "for every thousand working on the leaves, there is one working on the roots"? IAL takes the view that sentience - particularly recent discussions about sentience in law - is a potential turn-key for change that would elevate the standards governing the inseparable relationship between people, animals, and their shared planet

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Shooting the slow race horses (Victoria, Australia)

The media title announces “Racing Victoria to send vets to euthanase horses…

 

It's not against the law to destroy an animal provided that it is humanely done. But what are the ethical issues in shooting slow horses while still breeding them in such large numbers that shooting the slow ones is justified as the preferred option?

“Victoria Racing Club establishes horse welfare fund” and “Racing Victoria launches $25 million racehorse welfare plan” are among the Google headlines alongside the article...more >>

"Tragedy of the Commons" - have you heard of it?

The Murray Darling Basin in Australia is reportedly relied upon by 2.6 million people and contributes 24 billion dollars to the economy. The Murray Darling Basin is also a depleting water resource resulting in animals dying, farmers going out of business, and whole communities under threat of having to move. It’s been described, and long recognised, as an environmental disaster.

The conflicts of interest between Australian States and Territories regarding the Murray Darling Basin was referred to in a recent meeting as an example of “the tragedy of the commons in...more >>