Animal Law News

Inspiration for people direct from the cat's tongue...

People are frequently interested in things that will make their lives better, so it's unsurprising that one of the constant arguments for looking after animals, studying them, and the permissions granted under law to conduct research on them, is because there are benefits for people in learning from them. 

Cats love to groom themselves almost as much as they love to sleep, spending up to one-quarter of their waking hours cleaning their fur. The secret to their self-cleaning success? The spines on their tongues are curved and hollow-tipped. These tiny spines, called...more >>

EU to review animal welfare strategy

The European Commission is going to evaluate its animal welfare strategy, it has said in response to a report by the European Court of Auditors.
The review of the strategy comes almost three years after the European Parliament asked for it.
Auditors said in their report that animal welfare in the EU has improved, but that member states were slow to implement recommendations from the commission.
The EU's animal welfare strategy was published in 2012, and was specifically designed for the...more >>

Do you see a conflict of interests for New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries? (Opinion piece)

"New Zealand has a long history of animal cruelty and neglect". That's the title of the article produced by a New Zealand lawyer with a long-standing interest in New Zealand's standards governing the treatment of it's animals. It's quite a statement about a country that holds itself out as a world leader for animal welfare.

The author states that in terms of a willingness "to enforce animal welfare laws", it's time to take the responsibility away from New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries ("MPI...more >>

The 'hypocrisy gap' between ethical sentiment and behaviour in food consumption.

A recent investigation has looked at the 'hypocrisy gap' between ethical sentiment and behaviour in food consumption. 

Australians appear to care about animal welfare: research has found 92 percent of shoppers in Sydney considered animal welfare to be important.
However, when distribution of market share of so-called high-welfare foods in Australia was considered, the results showed a varied picture. Aussie shoppers seem to care far more about free-range eggs than the living conditions of pigs, cows and...more >>

Link this: "domestic violence" and "animal abuse"

The human-animal relationship ("HAI"), or"bond" has been defined as "a mutually beneficial and dynamic...more >>

Do people have a responsibility regarding fish?

The debate about fishes’ ability to perceive pain has arisen at various times in past decades, generally prompted by public concerns about angling practices, industrialised fishing, and, more recently, intensive salmon farming.
Advances in neuroscience and behavioural techniques have led to a better understanding of the sophistication of the senses and central nervous system of such lower vertebrates, and there is now more widespread acceptance that fish do feel pain.
Interestingly, jurisdictions...more >>

African Swine Fever: Here's why it is a big deal

“The pig mortality will be the least of our worries”, according to US expert Dennis DiPietre. “The business disruption and profit losses from export cessation would range from big to staggering,” he says. DiPietre fears that, within a year or two, “we will be engulfed in a worldwide pandemic”.


How well are you critiquing the media reports?

There is a tendency to automatically accept media reports regarding court reported matters involving animals. But how well are you critiquing the report itself? 
Take a look at this article involving a farmer whose penalty involved being banned from handling animals, and an 18 month prison sentence suspended for four years.
Did you notice that the penalty involved a prison sentence? It wasn’t so long ago that people were surprised that animal welfare offending attracted a prison sentence. That’s changed...more >>

If any mammal appears to be free of emotions, apart perhaps from cynicism, it would be the goat.


Well, that's one of the lines in this opinion piece about what science says about animal sentience.

The article also states:

  • Today most of us would probably also say that animals are able to feel emotion, form attachments and have distinct personalities. Yet for many decades the idea of animals feeling emotions or having personalities was dismissed by behavioural scientists. This strange view that arose from the 17th-century philosopher René Descartes’ alleged assertion that ...more >>

What's behind New Zealand's most popular meat?

Here’s a couple of considerations to keep in mind as you read the article dealing with farming and “New Zealand’s most popular meat”. The key words to those considerations are “sentience”, and “balance”

Consideration #1: What difference would a legal definition of animal sentience have on the daily...more >>