Animal Law News

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 >>

Rodeo: Entertainment brought to you by New Zealand's sentient animal

So what are your views on rodeos? Where does it fall, for example, on that entertainment spectrum between bull-fighting and shows where animals do tricks?

Through the legal lens, there’s currently a two-part test to determine if the law protecting animals has been broken. First, has the animal experienced pain or distress? If not, then no further enquiry is warranted. But if it’s considered that the animal has indeed experienced pain or distress, then the second part of the legal test is whether or not the pain or distress was “reasonable” or “necessary...more >>

Tongue tied? One in five Australian race-horses are

The use of widespread use of tongue-ties in horse racing in Australia has come under fire.
Proponents of the tongue-tie – a strap that immobilises a horse’s tongue – argue that it prevents breathing issues during races, increasing performance and improves the rider’s control of the horse.
But there is limited data to show that tongue-ties improve racing speeds overall, and there’s mounting evidence that they can cause stress and injury. Tongue-ties are banned in most non-racing equestrian sports in...more >>

New Zealand's commitment to it's sentient animals: serious or merely symbolic?


spin doctor
noun: a spokesperson employed to give a favourable...more >>

What do you think about dogs on the menu? (Why?)

Indonesia announced that it is preparing a regulation to ban the trade of meat derived from pets and exotic animals, aiming to promote animal welfare and rein in disease. Unsurprisingly, the announcement was cheered by animal rights campaigners.
People in some parts of the Southeast Asian nation are known to consume dog meat and the government faces pressure from animal rights groups to tackle the issue.
Syamsu Ma’arif, director of veterinary public health at the agriculture ministry, is reported as saying“(Dog meat)...more >>

406 dead eagles for 14 days and $2,500

Animal welfare groups have criticised a two-week jail sentence imposed against a man who killed 406 wedge-tailed eagles in Victoria, Australia, as too lenient.
The farmhand was sentenced in the magistrates court after pleading guilty to poisoning the birds and hiding their carcases over a two-year period. He was jailed for 14 days, fined $2,500 for the destruction of protected wildlife, and the 59-year-old will also be deported back to New Zealand after his release.
It is the first time anyone has been jailed for that offence in...more >>

Balancing badgers on the decision-makers table

Let's face it, with technology that's available, those organisations and people who have a legal responsibility in their dealings which involve animals, shouldn't be surprised when their activities get recorded. As with most debates, there are contrasting opinions where issues of privacy are in tension with expectations regarding transparency.
Yet another incident utilising covert footage was published online recently and shows a method of dispatching Britain’s largest indigenous carnivore as part of a controversial cull now being expanded...more >>