Friday, April 25, 2008

New Swiss law protects rights of 'social' animals

Times Online
April 26, 2008

It is a world in which the goldfish are never lonely, the dogs are always obedient and the guinea-pigs are never tormented by children.

Under a new Swiss law enshrining rights for animals, dog owners will require a qualification, anglers will take lessons in compassion and horses will go only in twos. Read more here...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Animal Law casebook available

Congratulations to Taimie Bryant, David Cassuto, Rebecca Huss and all the other contributing authors on the publication of the latest entry into the animal law textbook market: Animal Law and the Courts: A Reader. According to Professor Bryant, "[t]he Reader is a compilation of chapters contributed by authors who chose one or two judicial opinions about which to write a chapter that treats in more depth one or more issues raised by the opinion(s)." The teaching manual include another 13 opinions, as well as a variety of class exercises, and even exceeds the length of the Reader. This marks the - count 'em! - THIRD text available in this growing field in just about a decade. Who would've thought?

Animal Law and the Courts: A Reader is published by Thomson West and is available through West's website. Click here for more information...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Massachusetts legislator pushes two new animal laws

Posted Apr 08, 2008 @ 10:12 PM

BOSTON - A local legislator and her dog went to the State House yesterday to rally support for bills protecting animals from violent domestic disputes and compensate the owners for their pain and suffering.

State Rep. Jennifer Callahan, D-Sutton, accompanied by Bailey, her yellow Labrador retriever, spoke about two of her proposals yesterday as part of Animal Lobby Day, hosted by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

For the rest of the article, click here...

As part of her pitch to fellow legislators, Callahan cited the statistics behind - and the growing number of states permitting - protective orders for companion animals. For more on what is suddenly (and happily) becoming the flavor of the day in bipartisan legislation, see the posts from Friday April 4th and Monday March 31st below...

Friday, April 11, 2008

When we abuse animals we debase ourselves

Not exactly animal law, but a really thoughtful opinion piece that I wanted to share:

The Christian Science Monitor
by Barbara Cook Spencer
from the April 11, 2008 edition

Moving a cow by chaining it to a tractor and dragging it by its leg says a lot about how we perceive and value animals. When the Humane Society video that showed this and other brutal slaughterhouse treatment made the rounds on the Internet a few weeks ago, it caused public shock and led to a federal investigation. But there's a deeper lesson that all of us – whether or not we eat meat – need to take to heart: we degrade ourselves when we degrade animals.

Read the rest of the editorial here...

Friday, April 04, 2008

Congratulations to Long Island Prosecutor on historic protection order!

The article below is somewhat understated and modest in relating this court victory. To the best of this blogger's knowledge, the order of protection entered on behalf of this family duck was not only the first time in Suffolk County, but the first time in New York state - and, I believe - the entire U.S. - that such an order was entered outside of domestic violence cases:
Like any other victim of a violent attack, Circles the duck now has legal protection - an order of protection against the man charged as her assailant.

In addition to getting shot in the neck by a pellet gun, Suffolk prosecutors said Circles, of Mastic, managed to make legal history yesterday.

"To my knowledge, it's the first order of protection for a pet in Suffolk County outside of domestic violence cases," said prosecutor Michelle Auletta.

Read the rest of Circles' story here...

Remarkably, this order was entered barely two years after the first legislation was enacted - in another state, no less - to permit companion animals to be listed in a protective order. This is lightspeed progress compared to how slowly the law traditionally moves. To read more about how one woman turned her personal tragedy into this law that is now taking hold across the U.S., see the post below.