Advocates for Animals

Making full use of the law to protect animals

Blog: The Growing Practice of Animal Law

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Britain played a major role in the development of animal protection rights, founding the world’s first animal protection organisation, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who were instrumental in passing Britain’s first Cruelty to Animal Act in 1835.

And it’s not just the UK that’s been instrumental in the development of animal protection. In 1955, the Society for Animal Protective Legislation was founded in the US, making it the first organisation to lobby for humane slaughter legislation. Thanks to their efforts, three years later, The American Humane Slaughter Act was passed. Across the Pacific, Indian parliament passed The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in 1960, thanks to the work of India’s animal welfare organisations.

In recent years, animal protection legislation has advanced through the efforts of conscientious lawyers and organisations. Firms like The Animal Legal Defense Fund, founded in 1979, have paved the way for stronger enforcement of anti-cruelty laws in America, and paved the way for other nations. Similarly, Animal Justice leads the legal fight for animals in Canada, passing strong new animal protection legislation, pushing for the prosecution of animal abusers, and fighting for animals in court. From passing a shark fin ban in 2011 to ending the captivity of whales and dolphins in 2015, Animal Justice have had tremendous victories in ending these cruel practices.

The international legal community is developing animal protection law at an encouraging rate, and this movement should galvanise the UK. Advocates for Animals (AFA) is the first UK-based law firm practising exclusively in Animal Protection Law. We join this small but influential global community of animal defenders in the hopes of enacting real change in the UK, and hopefully beyond.

But AFA wouldn’t be the firm it is today without the help of the UK’s leading animal law charity: A-Law. Their tireless work to improve the UK’s legal framework for animals has been nothing short of pioneering.

Many organisations in the animal protection movement are doing important work, and we hope to support and enshrine their advances in our country’s legal doctrine. This is essential to secure the necessary protection for animals.

Vanessa Johansson
Administration Manager
Advocates for Animals

We are grateful to everyone who contributes to the Advocates for Animals blog. Blogs should not be taken as legal advice nor do they necessarily reflect the views of the firm

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