Animal Law News

Towards the integrated assessment of New Zealand pastoral farm systems

Abstract
 
Land use and management change is a feature of New Zealand farm systems, driven by a range of factors including volatile markets and exchange rates, variable weather and climate patterns, continuous policy evolution and the inherent innovation of New Zealand farmers. Yet the common indicators used to evaluate the impact of change appear to be limited to the link between productivity (of land/labour/capital) and profitability. However, if farm system “owners” seek truly sustainable systems they should consider a wider set of indicators to...more >>

International Animal-Law Newsletter November 2016

Define "sentience" for animals in New Zealand's Animal Welfare Act

Acknowledgement of animal as ‘sentient’ was introduced to New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Act 1999 in August 2015. It was a good start by the Government towards elevating standards of animal welfare. Unfortunately, it rather undermined the gesture by not only referring to the insertion of sentience as “merely symbolic”, but by failing entirely to define the word.
 
How is the definition of sentient important to the everyday lives of animals? Your answer could incorporate the following points:

Pessimist pigs

In a world where the law is moving towards greater recognition of animals "dignity" and "sentience", the science of animals emotions will foreseeably translate into responsibilities applied to people to ensure that animals have a "quality-of-life".

 
So a recent science article on "pessimist pigs" demonstrates that understanding and applying sentience to animals may have all sorts of complications..
 
Your personality and your mood determine how you will react to an uncertain situation. If you...more >>

Canary Islands scientists up in arms after airlines stop shipping research animals

Two major airlines have stopped transporting laboratory animals from mainland Spain to the Canary Islands, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. Their move has put research projects on the islands on hold and has left scientists and politicians scrambling for solutions. The ban is particularly problematic for researchers who need transgenic mice, which are often ordered from specialized labs.

The issue may soon be debated in the Spanish parliament; some members want the federal government in Madrid to force the companies to lift their ban

Why It’s So Hard To Save An Endangered Species

The struggle to protect the vaquita, the world’s most endangered marine mammal, illustrates the complexities of conservation.

 
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The March 2016 photo attached to this article shows fish maws placed in a basket to dry outside a dried goods shop in Hong Kong. The maws of totoaba, a critically endangered fish, are sold for thousands of dollars on the black market in Asia.
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13 policies for animal transporters in Australia

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has outlined the policies its members should adhere to in its National Animal Welfare Policy.

 
 The 13 policies outlined in the document are:
  1. The Legislative Environment: Operators and drivers must be aware of all laws that apply to livestock transport and comply to the fullest extent possible.
  2. Core Animal Welfare Standards for Land Transport: Operators and drivers must have a detailed operational knowledge of the ‘Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines...more >>

Neuroscience proves animals experience a wide range of emotions

A leading animal welfare professor says neuroscience research has caught up to animal welfare theories and demonstrated links between positive experiences and good health.

As the foundation director of the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre at New Zealand's Massey University, Professor David Mellor's team has had a significant influence on New Zealand's welfare codes.

The Codes now include freeing pregnant sows from stalls in piggeries and improving facilities for layer hens in cages.

"We've moved from a primary focus on the nutrition,...more >>

Black Dog bikers and dairy farmers (Australia)

In terms of "the law" as it applies to animals, it's a sad reality that all too often there is an assumption by many people that if a prosecution is undertaken against an individual for animal related matters, then "they must be guilty". That's not always the case, and that's why there are defense solicitors. One of the jobs of solicitors is to look at what's reasonable on the farm and, in terms of the total situation, explore alternatives to prosecution itself or sentencing options.

 
That undertaking to actually understand the...more >>

China plans to cut meat consumption by 50%

The Chinese government has outlined a plan to reduce its citizens’ meat consumption by 50%, in a move that climate campaigners hope will provide major heft in the effort to avoid runaway global warming.
 
New dietary guidelines drawn up by China’s health ministry recommend that the nation’s 1.3 billion population should consume between 40g to 75g of meat per person each day. The measures, released once every 10 years, are designed to improve public health but could also provide a significant cut to greenhouse gas emissions.
 ...more >>