Comparative International Animal Law (409-S1)
This course considers the way in which animal welfare law, and the regulation of the human/animal relationship, has evolved through the creation of different legal mechanisms around the globe. In particular, this course examines the slow evolution of animal welfare law from its initially restricted focus on intentional cruelty against animals in the domestic and farm setting to wider concerns about negligence, and a gradual change in focusing on animal needs in the industrial setting through adoption of the “five freedoms” in several jurisdictions.
Which countries are “ahead” in this race to build a better animal welfare model? The strengths and weaknesses of the vairous mechanisms will be considered in depth. The course will concentrate on the following:
- What are the different legal constructions of what constitutes “cruelty” against animals by legislatures and courts worldwide (including different uses of nomenclature); and which, if any, have operated to benefit animals in a meaningful way?
- How are crimes against animals prosecuted internationally, and have these different enforcement models proven effective (district attorney; animal protection organizations; ministry of agriculture; mixed systems)?
- Some countries create animal welfare legislation that is punishable exclusively through penal sanctions. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems?
- What oversight mechanisms have been created to ensure that animal interests have been protected?
- How is wildlife protected under the different models?
- What is the impact on welfare protections of the decision in various countries to respect animal “rights” (New Zealand great apes, German constitution, Spanish/Austrian protection of apes)?