Animal Law News

Therapy Dog or Service Dog?

People often confuse “therapy dogs” with “service dogs,” but these are two distinct terms and carry with them different levels of protection under the law.

Therapy Dogs

A therapy dog is specially trained to offer comfort, companionship, and affection to those in need of a...more >>

Have you heard there was a dog in the courtroom?

Research into the benefits of human–animal bonding dates to the 1700s in York, England, where the Society of Friends established a facility called The Retreat to provide humane treatment for the mentally ill. Society officials theorized that having patients care for the many farm animals on the estate would aid in the patients’ rehabilitation.

Through the ensuing centuries, therapists, sociologists...more >>

Animal welfare "ought to" trump consumer freedom. "Could" it?

Thinking critically is more than simply criticising. And it's going to take more than criticism to evolve legal standards of animal welfare.

Take a look at this essay: Why animal welfare ought to trump consumer freedom of choice in some cases (http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10063/5113/paper...)

There is no doubt that animal welfare is a subject that is...more >>

How to ensure puppies go to a good home? (Scotland)

Potential owners could be grilled about their lifestyle under plans to rein in Scotland’s burgeoning dog trade.

People seeking to buy puppies in Scotland could in future face an extensive questionnaire about their lifestyle and suitability to be a dog owner in order to comply with the law.

SNP MSP Christine Grahame will launch a bid later this month to introduce tougher legislation in response to fears over animal welfare breaches surrounding Scotland’s burgeoning trade in puppies, which is worth an estimated £13m annually.

If passed by the Scottish...more >>

Film Review: Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story

[Excerpt from a published film review]: With their sweet faces and absurdly proportioned bodies that can nevertheless bound with matchless grace, what is not to love about the kangaroo? And yet, this creature is deeply reviled—and even slaughtered—by quite a number of souls Down Under, who see them as nothing more than mere pests—great rodents, in the words of some—who destroy valuable farm and ranch lands.

Mick McIntyre and Kate McIntyre Clere examine this dilemma in their impassioned doc Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story. Though it voices both sides of the...more >>

How can we stop puppies and kittens being bred for their looks?

TradeMe announced that it would ban the sale of pugs, French bulldogs, and British bulldogs from its website. Veterinarian and New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) companion animal spokesperson Rochelle Ferguson looks at the state of cat and dog breeding welfare in New Zealand and what can be done to improve it....more >>

Boiling lobsters and crabs ‘should be banned’ says Crustacean Compassion

More than 50 high-profile campaigners have signed a letter to Michael Gove, the environment secretary, calling on him to recognise the crustaceans as animals. Under current Animal Welfare laws in Britain, decapod crustaceans aren’t classed as animals and therefore aren’t covered by the Animal Welfare Act.

Studies have...more >>

Breeding and selling companion animals 'largely unregulated' in NZ

The breeding, buying and selling of puppies and kittens is largely unregulated in New Zealand, animal welfare groups say.

New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) chief veterinary officer Dr Helen Beattie said "irresponsible breeders continue to prosper" behind a lack of regulation, the ability to sell animals via third parties, and the general public's lack of awareness on the issue.

"No regulatory bodies will check that these breeders are knowledgeable about animal health and breeding practices and nobody will ensure they have the necessary facilities to...more >>

So, what do you think about rodeos?

Rodeo events include calf-roping, steer wrestling and bull riding, all of which rely on inflicting pain and fear in animals to get them to perform. Rodeos contain deliberate cruelty, such as using electric prods and rope burning, but they also rely on inherent cruelty by exposing animals to rougher behaviour than they'd ever experience on a farm or props such as flank straps provoking distress.

A rodeo featuring a bull quietly chewing its cud, as it would on a farm, wouldn't be fun to watch so a variety of means are employed to make the animals run, jump and buck.

...more >>

A “cavalier” attempt to recognise animal sentience in law

MPs ordered Michael Gove back to the drawing board yesterday over a “cavalier” attempt to recognise animal sentience in law. They said that his vague and ambiguous animal welfare bill would open every government policy to judicial review. 

A cross-party group of MPs applauded the bill’s provisions to increase the maximum punishment for animal cruelty from six months to five years....more >>