Volume Twelve, Issue Two, 2005-2006
Jonathan R. Lovvorn
Lesley J. Rogers and Gisela Kaplan
Recent discoveries of higher cognitive abilities in some species of birds and mammals are bringing about radical changes in our attitudes towards animals and will lead to changes in legislation for the protection of animals. We fully support these developments, but at the same time we recognize that the scientific study of higher cognition in animals has touched on only a small number of vertebrate species. Accordingly, we warn that calls to extend rights, or to at least better welfare protection, for the handful of species that have revealed their intelligence to us may be counterproductive. While this would improve the treatment of the selected few, be they birds or mammals, a vast majority of species, even closely related ones, will be left out. This may not be a particular problem if being left out is only a temporary state that can be changed as new information becomes available. But, in practice, those protected and not protected are separated by a barrier that can be more difficult to remove than it was to erect in the first place. We summarize the recent research on higher cognition from the position of active researchers in animal behavior and neuroscience.
Mary W. Craig
This article discusses the thousands of foals born each year that are bred for industrial purposes. These foals must then be disposed of as unwanted by-products of the equine industry. PMU mares are bred to collect urine rich with hormones used in the production of a drug to treat menopausal symptoms. Nurse mares are bred to produce milk to feed foals other than their own. If adoptive homes cannot be found quickly, both industries dispose of their equine by-products by slaughtering the foals, and sometimes the mares, for profit or convenience. This paper calls for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act enabling the Department of Agriculture to regulate the PMU and nurse mare farms, and requiring both industries to responsibly dispose of these horses.
Legislation that affects dogs also affects persons with disabilities to some extent. This link shows up in statutory definitions, is justified by social construction theory, and has been reified in case law. Thus, it is important to examine statutes like Ontario’s pit bull legislation in terms of their potential impact on persons with disabilities. Upon close examination, it appears that the legislation suffers from vague definitions, conflicting onus of proof, absence of fair process, and severe penalties, including imprisonment. Further, it contains no reference to dogs used by persons with disabilities. This means that there is potential for persons with disabilities to suffer negative consequences and a need to consider disability rights in dog-focused legislation.
Is a pet a “product”? A pet is a product for purposes of products liability law in some states, and, as this article will show, the remaining states should follow suit. Every year, thousands of “domesticated” animals are sold to consumers who are uninformed as to the animals’ propensities or to the proper method of animal care. In some instances, these animals are unreasonably dangerous in that they spread disease to humans or attack, and possibly kill, unwitting victims. Improper breeding and training techniques and negligence in sales have led to horrific injury. This comment will demonstrate how merely considering pets as products opens up new theories of liability for the plaintiff’s lawyer, offering a deeper base of defendants who are both morally and legally at fault. From the standpoint of a consumer advocate and with concern for both human and animal welfare, the author proposes employing products liability theory to the sale of domesticated animals. By making sellers of “defective” animals accountable for personal injury that these animals cause, the quality of the animals bred and sold will likely improve. Where it does not improve and injury results, the victim may have recourse beyond the confines of contract remedies. Products liability theory is a lawful and needed method for preventing future harm and providing for a healthier human and animal kingdom.