Animal Law News

Anticipating Defenses in Animal Abuse Cases

Diane Balkin of the Animal Legal Defense Fund will present a free webinar on "Anticipating Defenses in Animal Abuse Cases" in a webinar series presented by the National Center for Prosecution of Animal Abuse, a program of the National District Attorneys Association, in partnership with the ASPCA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Scheduled for 16 October 2012. Go to

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Animal Abuse Among Female Batterers

While the overwhelming majority of domestic violence/intimate partner violence cases are perpetrated by men, a number of incidents are caused by women who batter. Research on the likelihood of women batterers to be aggressive to non-intimate partners, children and animals has been minimal. In this study, 17% of women who battered reported having committed at least one act of animal abuse since the age of 18, compared to a prevalence rate of .28% of women in the general population. The over-representation of animal abuse among this sample was consistent with that of men arrested for...more >>

Animal Welfare in British Zoos

Since 1984, British zoos have been required to meet the animal welfare standards set out under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981. Zoos are regularly assessed by government-appointed inspectors, who report on animal welfare standards in each zoo. This is the first analysis of those reports from a representative sample of British zoos. We highlight a number of concerns about the inspection process itself, and identify areas where changes would lead to improvements in both the inspection process and our ability to monitor animal welfare standards in zoos.

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Improving farm animal welfare

The globally growing demand for animal products has put a strain on producers in order to keep producing profitable. However, the public’s concern about the welfare of farm animals has recently been increasing.

Defining the concept ‘welfare’ has proven to be difficult, as it is subject to personal and cultural ethics and values. This thesis provides an overview of welfare definitions and scientific findings on negative and positive welfare indicators. Although negative welfare indicators have been studied extensively, the study of positive welfare indicators is...more >>

Success in Agricultural Transformation: What It Means and What Makes It Happen

 ‘Why is it that our operations at the (World) Bank to develop smallholder agriculture fail so often?’

This basic question is addressed in the book Success in Agricultural Transformation: What It Means and What Makes It Happen written by Isabelle Tsakok which seeks to distil lessons from the experience gained in attempting to develop agriculture in many countries over decades, sometimes centuries.
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Laboratory finds "There was no disease" (Pakistan)

The Sindh High Court (SHC) recently issued a stay order until the next hearing in response to a petition filed against the culling of Australian sheep allegedly sick with anthrax. Questions have been raised about underlying political/profit based motivations after it was revealed that Prof Rafique Khanani, head of the relevant (medical) commission, told the court that no indication of anthrax was found in the sheep after examination and chemical tests.

Of the 20,468 sheep imported from Australia to Pakistan, 7,667 were culled my slitting the animals’ throats or stabbing or...more >>

Export Supply Chain Assurance System (Australia)

Australian livestock export industry leaders believe that more resources – particularly those of the animal rights movement working to undermine the trade – should be directed at encouraging countries that are signatories to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to lift their game in meeting their obligations under the standards. It is alleged that to simply remove Australia from these markets, as many animal rights activists are advocating, is to remove one of the few agents that exist for positive animal welfare change in many countries.

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Mandatory space allowances for pigs housed indoors (Australia)

The Queensland Government has amended the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 to include minimum space allowances for pigs housed indoors. This has the effect that the space requirements for pigs housed indoors recommended in the Pig Code are now mandatory in Queensland.

For more information, see

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Environmentalism vs. animal welfare

There are various organizations who deal with the prevention of animal suffering or the protection of the natural environment and wildlife. Although you might expect these organizations to fight for the same cause, they can be divided into two separate categories: animal welfare and environmentalism. The first category focuses on (the welfare of) individual animals while the second focuses on (the preservation of) entire ecosystems. However,when you choose to focus on individual animals it’s impossible to attach significance to...more >>

What price animal welfare?

How much are people prepared to pay to help improve the welfare of animals used to produce their food? This is not just an academic question, but one of practical concern given hopes that consumer choice can help drive up standards.

Surveys in the UK and elsewhere in Europe have shown that people are keen to see improvements in farm animal welfare. However, foods produced to higher standards are more expensive and, very often, this desire is not reflected in what they buy.
This can become more of a problem when things are tough economically.
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