Animal Law News

Have we bred production animals "to their limit?

It's been reported that the mortality rate for female pigs in the US doubled from 5.8% to 10.2% on farms owning more than 125 sows between 2013-2016, according to an organisation that collects data across 800 companies.
The numbers have been linked to a troubling rise in prolapse – the collapse of the animal’s rectum, vagina, or uterus. In some cases the prolapse itself is fatal. In others the pig is euthanised as a result. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the figures reported on different farms varies considerably. According to the organisation...more >>

Police and service dogs and horses receive specific protection by law

Up until recently, it was possible for someone to claim a defence if they had harmed a service animal. The defence has been a recognised loophole in England's animal welfare legislation for quite some time.

There is an initiative, however, aptly named the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill which to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and would make it a specific offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal "under the control of the relevant officer" such as a police or prison Officer.

Those countries whose animal welfare legislation demonstrating...more >>

Legal accountability: Licensed dog breeder convicted of fraud

A licensed dog breeder who falsely sold popular dog breeds as "a front for puppy farms" has been sentenced in England.

Lisa Canning advertised dogs including a cockapoo (a cocker spaniel-poodle cross) that had no cocker spaniel in it, Cardiff Crown Court heard. Between 2016 and 2017 she operated as 4 Small Paws and made £50,000 from sales. Canning admitted four charges of fraud and one of unfair commercial practice and was given a suspended sentence.

The court heard that while she was a licensed breeder, she bred far more animals than she was permitted and...more >>

You know what pharmacovigilance is, right?

What post-market monitoring mechanisms are in place to ensure the ongoing safety and efficacy of medicinal products after marketing authorisation has been granted?
In France, pharmacovigilance procedures aim to monitor, evaluate, prevent and manage the risk of an adverse reaction resulting from the use of medicinal products (Article L5121-22 of the Public Health Code). Pharmacovigilance involves the reporting of suspected medicinal product-related adverse reactions, including in case of overdose, misuse, abuse and medication errors (Article R5121-150 of the...more >>

Where is this food from? - the issue of origin

There are two recent developments underlining the apparent need for more guidance on food labelling in transnational cases, in particular with regard to the origin. One is a referral by the German Federal Court of Justice concerning the labelling of mushrooms that had been relocated during the growing process. The second is the publishing of a draft Implementing Regulation establishing rules for indicating the country of origin or place of provenance of the primary ingredient of a food where different to that given for that food by the European Commission.


Therapy Dog or Service Dog?

People often confuse “therapy dogs” with “service dogs,” but these are two distinct terms and carry with them different levels of protection under the law.

Therapy Dogs

A therapy dog is specially trained to offer comfort, companionship, and affection to those in need of a...more >>

Have you heard there was a dog in the courtroom?

Research into the benefits of human–animal bonding dates to the 1700s in York, England, where the Society of Friends established a facility called The Retreat to provide humane treatment for the mentally ill. Society officials theorized that having patients care for the many farm animals on the estate would aid in the patients’ rehabilitation.

Through the ensuing centuries, therapists, sociologists...more >>

Animal welfare "ought to" trump consumer freedom. "Could" it?

Thinking critically is more than simply criticising. And it's going to take more than criticism to evolve legal standards of animal welfare.

Take a look at this essay: Why animal welfare ought to trump consumer freedom of choice in some cases (

There is no doubt that animal welfare is a subject that is...more >>

How to ensure puppies go to a good home? (Scotland)

Potential owners could be grilled about their lifestyle under plans to rein in Scotland’s burgeoning dog trade.

People seeking to buy puppies in Scotland could in future face an extensive questionnaire about their lifestyle and suitability to be a dog owner in order to comply with the law.

SNP MSP Christine Grahame will launch a bid later this month to introduce tougher legislation in response to fears over animal welfare breaches surrounding Scotland’s burgeoning trade in puppies, which is worth an estimated £13m annually.

If passed by the Scottish...more >>

Film Review: Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story

[Excerpt from a published film review]: With their sweet faces and absurdly proportioned bodies that can nevertheless bound with matchless grace, what is not to love about the kangaroo? And yet, this creature is deeply reviled—and even slaughtered—by quite a number of souls Down Under, who see them as nothing more than mere pests—great rodents, in the words of some—who destroy valuable farm and ranch lands.

Mick McIntyre and Kate McIntyre Clere examine this dilemma in their impassioned doc Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story. Though it voices both sides of the...more >>