Animal Law News

If you don't know what a Mammalian Gene Drive is, read this

The year is 2050. The place, New Zealand. Technological advances have dramatically changed the lives of the island’s human inhabitants, but on first blush, its animals remain untouched.
Except for one curious thing: all invasive rodents have vanished from the island. Rats, possums and other predators once wreaked havoc on the country’s rare endemic species. For centuries, mass influxes of invasive species trashed agricultural productivity, spoiled the country’s pristine beauty, and brought iconic species—such as the flightless kiwi...more >>

The Brexit implications for animal welfare

Political decisions are a major influence on matters involving animals and their welfare. Obviously, some political events have more significance than others. From a European perspective, the exit of the UK from the EU definitely qualifies as a "significant political event". The question is, what will be the impact of that exit on matters of animal welfare?

For a very concise and clear opinion, have a look at the link at ...more >>

The dangers of a monotonous diet: Crazed cannibal hamsters

A diet of corn is turning wild hamsters in north-eastern France into deranged cannibals that devour their offspring, researchers have reported.

Once nourished by a variety of grains, roots and insects, the burrowing rodents live today in a semi-sterile and unbroken ocean of industrially grown maize, or corn.
The monotonous diet is leaving the animals starving, scientists discovered almost by accident. The problem is a lack of vitamins. In fact, one in particular: B3, or niacin.
Researchers led by Mathilde Tissier at...more >>

Turning dragonflies into tiny cyborg drones

One company has decided the ideal tiny drone should take its cues from the natural world of insects — specifically the dragonfly. 
When Draper, an independent biomedical solutions lab, set out to make its own mini-fliers, it cut out the middleman. It got some of the insects and outfitted them with cutting-edge navigation, synthetic biology and neurotechnology systems to create a swarm of cyborg dragonfly drones.     
The tiny hybrids are part of an internal R&D project at Draper called, appropriately...more >>

USDA blacks out animal welfare information

It's been reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently removed public access to tens of thousands of reports that document the numbers of animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters—and whether those animals are being treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. 

The apparent reason: ...more >>

Clone your pet for $100,000

Saying farewell to a beloved pet can understandably be traumatic. So is there a "market" for cloning a pet? At least one company thinks so.

While ethical questions would likely be asked, the fact is that scientific advances involving genetic manipulation are already a reality. And under law, animals are property not people - so would you clone your pet for $100,000?
See more at 

Can you rely on the veterinarian as an expert witness?

Veterinarians are commonly referred to as society's "animal health and welfare experts". So it comes as no surprise that veterinarians are often asked to provide reports to courts describing factual observations and providing their "expert" opinion on the presence or absence of unnecessary suffering in animals. 
But is there consistency among veterinarians regarding their assessment of what constitutes "unnecessary suffering"?
A recent report concludes that there is significant variation...more >>

Thinking about animal research from a different perspective

The use of animals in research continues to be one of the more contentious subjects for those who have interests involving animals and their welfare.

So how are you defining the word "research"? When you think about "animal research", what comes to mind?
Nature is wonderfully abundant, diverse and mysterious — but biological research today tends to focus on only seven species, including rats, chickens, fruit flies and us. We're studying an astonishingly narrow sliver of life, says biologist Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, and...more >>

The Sentencing of Dangerous Dogs and Dangerous Owners

"There are no bad dogs, there are just bad owners" is a phrase commonly used within dog behavioural training circles. Discussions in which the phrase occurs often demonstrate varying opinion as to how accurate the statement is, and there are frequently references to dogs that are exceptions to the commonly held generalisation. But what everybody usually agrees on, is that there is a principle of "responsibility" that attaches to the owner. That same principle is reflected in law.
The question is, how does the law portion consequences...more >>

Should we keep a record of people that abuse animals?

Animal abusers registers. Should governors keep a record of people that abuse animals?

"Should" is always such a subjective term. So perhaps the question might be "what are the arguments, for and against, keeping a record of people that abuse animals"?
If a person is convicted of an animal welfare offence, then one of the potential penalties that the court may consider is application of a banning order, which prevents the convicted individual from owning, or having responsibility for, animals in the future. From a...more >>