Animal Law News

World on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020

The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends.
 
It's the last four words of that...more >>

Victoria (Australia) lifts ban on dangerous dogs

Dangerous dog breeds will be temporarily spared from death row, after the Victorian Government announced a moratorium on the animals being euthanased until a parliamentary inquiry is complete.
 
Laws introduced in 2011 allow certain breeds of dogs, including American pitbulls, to be seized by councils and destroyed, even if they have not attacked anyone or behaved aggressively.
 
Some owners have challenged the kill orders through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, costing councils tens of thousands of dollars in legal...more >>

Animals in entertainment

Where do we draw the line in respect of the use of animals in entertainment? Bullfighting has attracted considerable criticism. Horse racing and greyhound racing are widely accepted although there is considerable attention and debate about the standards and collateral damage associated with these entertainment activities. And then there's the question about the use of animals in aquariums, zoos, and other similar activities which essentially put animals on display.

 
Critique is not the same as criticism. Critique includes examination of both sides of the...more >>

The right, the wrong, and the missed-the-point of greyhound animal welfare in Australia

The greyhound decision in New South Australia - who got it right? who got it wrong?

 
Have a look at this opinion piece. Who's missing the point about animal welfare?
 

Going Dutch: A Model for Reconciling Animal Slaughter Reform With the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Abstract
 
New methods of brain analysis show that in remaining conscious after their necks are cut, animals suffer extreme agony. In the United States, the Humane Slaughter Act mandates that animals be stunned before being cut in order to avoid that suffering, yet Orthodox Judaism mandates that animals remain conscious throughout. The Netherlands requires that animals be stunned if they are still conscious 40 seconds after being cut, mediating religious and animal-rights interests. The United States should reexamine religious exemptions to humane slaughter...more >>

Humans aren’t the only great apes that can ‘read minds’

 All great mind reading begins with chocolate. That’s the basis for a classic experiment that tests whether children have something called theory of mind—the ability to attribute desires, intentions, and knowledge to others. When they see someone hide a chocolate bar in a box, then leave the room while a second person sneaks in and hides it elsewhere, they have to guess where the first person will look for the bar. If they guess “in the original box,” they pass the test, and show they understand what’s going on in the first person’s mind—even...more >>

New Zealand government is ignoring advisers and "missing the point" in it's new dangerous dog laws

New laws in New Zealand regarding dangerous dogs "miss the point" according to animal law expert and former veterinarian Ian Robertson. 
 
A real concern, according to Ian Robertson, is the fact that government decision makers have...more >>

Understanding "necessary" to protect New Zealand's kiwi

The legal test for what is deemed acceptable animal treatment is the question of "Does the animal feel pain or distres that is either “un-reasonable” or “un-necessary”?

It’s important to note that it's not an "all pain is bad and unacceptable" test. The test recognises that some pain may be reasonable or necessary. For example, sliding a piece of metal into the back of a dog’s neck skin and injecting a foreign substance where the dog sometimes gives a yelp, may understandably sound disturbing for a lot of people...more >>

Hardline dog control measures (New Zealand): A "good" start?

Theres an old proverb that says "for every thousand hacking at the leaves of a problem tree, there is only one working on the roots".

20,000 bites per year. The statistics on dog bites reportedly demonstrate that bite incidents are on the rise, and that children are over represented as victims. The number of dog bite patients discharged from hospital has apparently increased by 58 per cent since 2005, and the costs of treatment and rehabilitation of the most serious injuries can be more than $200,000 per patient.  

In response, the New Zealand government is...more >>

Legalizing ivory trade won't save elephants

Is killing elephants—legally—the best way to save them? The controversial idea is a discussion topic on the agenda of a conservation meeting in South Africa, where elephant-rich African nations will renew a push to scrap a long-standing global ban on ivory sales and replace it with a limited legal trade in tusks taken from carefully managed elephant populations. The theory is that a legalised trade market will undermine the poaching that is depleting herds and provide a financial incentive for protecting them.
 
There's just one problem, a new...more >>