News: Update on International Law and Policy

Courtesy of Animals & Society Institute

The College & Research Libraries News has released an Introduction to animal law: Resources for online research and study. The open access publication includes animal lawLibGuides, programs of study, case law sources, open access animal law journals, state animal law rankings, and sources on Federal and State cruelty statutes.

Presentations and Commentary

The New York City Bar Association is hosting a panel discussion, Animal Rights and Feminism: An Intersectional Approach, Thursday, April 16, 2020 from 6:30-8:30 PM. Panelists include: Mathilde Cohen, Professor, University of Connecticut Law School, Sherry F. Colb, Professor, Cornell Law School, Lori Gruen, Professor, Wesleyan University, and Robyn Hederman, Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics & Member, Animal Law Committee.

An insightful column by Sherry F. Colb, “Should Animals Be Allowed to Sue?”, analyzes the concept of animals as legal “persons” using as a springboard a civil suit case brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund for a terribly neglected Quarter Horse named Justice (Justice v. Gwendolyn Vercher). In related news, an orangutan was granted legal personhood by a judge in Argentina and later found a new home in Florida.

Books, Chapters and Articles

Abbate, C.E. (2020). Animal Rights and the Duty to Harm: When to be a Harm Causing Deontologist. Zeitschrift für Ethik und Moralphilosophie: Journal for Ethics and Moral Philosophy.

Cao, D. (2020). Is the Concept of Animal Welfare Incompatible with Chinese Culture? Society & Animals. DOI:

Ditrich, Han. (2020). Illegal Trading in Endangered Animal and Plant Species from an Austrian Perspective. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin.

Madzwamuse, M., Rihoy, E. and Louis, M. (2020). Contested Conservation: Implications for Rights, Democratization, and Citizenship in Southern Africa. Society for International Development

Simnett, Dorothy Jean. (2019). The Political Animal: The Animal Rights Movement and Public Policy. [PhD Diss. NSU Florida]. 
D Waltz, D. (2020). The “Embarrassing” Endangered Species Act: Beyond Collective Rights for Species. Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, 2020.

Zier, Emily R.(2020). Which one to follow? Service animal policy in the United StatesDisability and Health Journal. (In press). [A review of current federal and state policies regarding service animals.]

International Law and Policy

Australia: Legislation is being introduced by the Western Australia government that ban puppy farms and sale of puppies from pet shops, and track dogs throughout their lives using a central registration system.

Australia: Queensland, Australia Parliament has passed the Agriculture and Other Legislation Amendment Bill, increasing fines and jail time for activists seeking to expose animal cruelty. The new laws come into effect soon and include fines of up to $60,000 and one year in jail for breaching biosecurity, expanding unlawful assembly offences, and new offences for unlawful entry to just about any land where animals are abused.

Canada: Canada has officially banned the keeping and breeding of whales and dolphins. (However, the ban does not apply retroactively. The amusement park Marineland in the city of Niagara Falls and the aquarium in Vancouver, which are the only marine mammals in Canada, may, therefore, keep their animals.) 

China: On 4 February, China announced plans to permanently ban wildlife trade and to increase supervision around wet markets as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

France: In a move cautiously welcomed by animal welfare activists, France has banned mass live-shredding of male chicks and says it will the castration of piglets without anaesthesia.

Israel: In first pilot of its kind, Israeli dairy won’t separate calves from mothers. (The project will allow female calves to stay with mothers until weaning, but male calves will still be separated, sent off for fattening and slaughter.)

Tanzania: The Rhino population has surged 1,000% in Tanzania following a crackdown on poaching. 

United States Law and Policy – Federal:
In late January, 2020, the U.S. District Court of Kansas struck down nearly all of the state’s ag-gag laws which made undercover investigations illegal in slaughterhouses.

On January 29, 2020, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee voted to reverse Trump Administration harmful changes to Endangered Species Act by approving the Protect America’s Wildlife and Fish in Need of Conservation Act (the PAW and FIN Conservation Act), H.R. 4348. 

On February 10, 2020, a federal judge overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services approval of a copper mine due to an Endangered Species Act threat. In early February 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act, bill that would pair veterans with service dogs. 

Also in early February, animal protection groups sued the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, and the United States Department of Agriculture in federal court for failing to protect pigs who are too sick or injured to walk at slaughterhouses,

In February, a lawsuit prompted the shutdown of a panel of trophy hunters appointed by the Trump administration to advise the federal government on international wildlife trade policy.

California has become the first state in the U.S. to ban animal fur products

Following a surge of 37 horse deaths in 2019, and three more since the beginning of this year at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, a bill (AB 2177 ) has been introduced in the California Assembly that, if passed, would enact comprehensive reforms and improvements to racing and eliminate serious contributing factors to equine deaths on racetracks.

Delaware Lawmakers has passed a groundbreaking bill to allow titer testing in lieu of rabies vaccine, which is risky for animals who are sick, disabled, injured, or have other medical considerations that make vaccination a risk to the animal’s health and life.

The Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee Jan. 22 voted to introduce legislation that would designate “wolf-free” and “chronic depredation” zones, creating more opportunities to hunt wolves year-round.

Proposed legislation in Illinois aims to give dogs, cats legal representation in abuse cases, and create a county-by-county database of legal professionals, from lawyers to paralegals to experts on animal abuse, willing to step in on a dog or cat’s behalf when a person is facing punishment for neglecting or abusing them. 

A proposed New York law would give a $125 tax credit to people who adopt rescue pets