I just made a comment on Steven White’s article on the growing momentum for animal law reform. It’s a movement sorely needed in our world where the unsanctionalble exploitation of animals occurs out of the public eye but on a scale unimaginable to most.
Increasingly, lawyers are striving to increase knowledge of animal welfare law, amongst lawyers and the wider public, and agitating for reform of the law. A growing number of law schools around the country offer, or are considering offering, courses in animal law. Lawyers in Australia are, in growing numbers, forming groups advocating on behalf of animals, or assisting animal welfare groups in their advocacy work.
Recently, the Australian Law Reform Commission’s journal, Reform, in a call for papers for a special animal law issue, suggested that transformation of the law affecting animals is growing into a significant social justice movement. Such a movement is welcome, but it must address the interests of all animals, whales as well as cows, polar bears as well as kangaroos.
Griffith University has recently held the Southern Hemisphere’s first conference on animal law.
“Animal Law in Australia: A New Dialogue” – a Griffith University conference
Steven White who lectures on law at Griffith University helped organise this event together with University of Auckland senior law lecturer Peter Sankoff. The event was sponsored by Voiceless, the fund for animals.
Mr Sankoff said:
“This can be done by focusing on two objectives. The first is deciphering the legal framework that governs human-animal relations, and where necessary, explaining how the law is failing to protect animal interests,” Mr Sankoff said.
“The second objective is bringing legal challenges in court – not so much to revolutionise the status quo but as a means of spurring societal debate on important animal issues.” (see the full article on Griffith News)