Volume Thirteen, Issue One, 2006-2007
Delcianna J. Winders
Clayton Gillette and Joyce Tischler
Joyce Tischler describes the development of the field of animal law from the first animal law conference to its current recognition as one of today’s most important issues. Tischler traces the beginnings of animal law and its development, both parallel to and as part of the animal rights and protection movements. Tischler further explores common dilemmas facing animal lawyers and how these dilemmas, along with their responses, have helped shape animal law as we know it today.
Panelists: Taimie Bryant, Una Chaudhuri, and Dale Jamieson; Moderators: Laura Ireland Moore and David J. Wolfson
In this discussion, panelists explore the many viewpoints society holds with respect to nonhuman animals. The discussion broadly covers ethics and what constitutes ethical behavior in this regard. The question dealt with is, largely, what is the appropriate ethical model to use when arguing that animals deserve better treatment and expanded rights? Unlike parallel movements for human civil rights or women’s equality, the animal rights movement has much greater hurdles to overcome when it comes to arguing that animals deserve equal treatment under the law. In an attempt to address this question, the dialogue touches upon many areas of human thought. The panelists take on diverse fields such as philosophy, science, anthropology, environmentalism, and feminism and use them to understand the past and present state of animal law. The analytical tools of these several disciplines are also applied to animal law in an attempt to develop a better model for the future.
Panelists: David Cassuto, Jonathan Lovvorn, and Katherine Meyer; Moderator: Joyce Tischler
For animal advocates, one of the most significant barriers to the courtroom is standing. In order to litigate on behalf of an animal’s interests in federal court, the advocate must first establish standing by meeting three requirements: (1) the plaintiff must have suffered an injury in fact, (2) the injury must be causally connected to the act about which the plaintiff is complaining, and (3) the court must be able to redress the injury. When it comes to non-human animals, how does an advocate demonstrate an injury to establish standing? In this panel, experts in animal litigation discuss the concept of establishing legal standing for animals and animal advocates; the panelists’ own experiences, including specific cases and creative methods used; and the future of legal standing for animals.
Panelists: Carter Dillard, David Favre, Eric Glitzenstein, Mariann Sullivan, and Sonia Waisman; Moderator: Leonard Egert
In the third panel of the NYU Symposium, distinguished animal law professionals discuss various causes of action which may be used on behalf of animals in the courtroom. Panelists talk about traditional forms of standing, make suggestions for innovation using existing laws, and discuss visions of how they would like to see the law develop as it pertains to standing for animals.
Lynn A. Epstein
Should the law treat dogs as vicious animals or loving family companions? This article analyzes common law strict liability as applied to dog bite cases and the shift to modern strict liability statutes, focusing on the defense of provocation. It discusses the inconsistency in the modern law treatment of strict liability in dog bite cases. The article then resolves why negligence is the proper cause of action in dog bite cases. The Author draws comparisons among dog owner liability in dog bite cases, parental liability for a child’s torts, and property owner liability for injuries caused by his property. The Author concludes by proposing a negligence standard to be applied in dog bite cases.
In recent years, several member states in the European Union enacted legislation to regulate or prohibit fur farming. This article calls for further action to ban the practice throughout the European Union. The Author notes animals’ inabilities to protect their own interests and the role of law to protect these vulnerable interests. The Author concludes by responding to the objections of fur farming proponents, ultimately finding no legitimate justification for the documented suffering of animals raised on fur farms.
Geoffrey C. Evans
A law and economics approach in the current animals-as-property realm could be the most efficient way to gain protections for the billions of farmed animals that need them now. The wealth maximization theory allows for this because it recognizes human valuation of nonhuman interests. However, evidence shows that a market failure exists because of the discord between public will and animal industry practices. Where human valuation of nonhuman interests is underrepresented in the market and, therefore, a market fix is needed through legislation, animal advocates should evaluate the legislation’s economic impacts. In the case of a ban on gestation crates, as may be the case elsewhere, legislation may actually prove to be economically efficient, and thus gain the support of those who would not otherwise back such legislation. Even when the economic impact is negative, several arguments still weigh in favor of doing a detailed economic analysis. The more immediate positive effects likely to result from this approach outweigh possible negative effects. The sheer magnitude of farmed animal suffering requires that animal advocates begin a direct, offensive approach to the economics of animal welfare measures today.