Advocates for Animals

Making full use of the law to protect animals

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Thank you everyone who has contributed to our blog! Please note these articles represent the views of the author and not necessarily those of Advocates for Animals. They are not intended as advice for particular situations. We would be happy to advise if you think we may be able to help. If you are interested in writing a blog please email info@advocates-for-animals.com

Blog: Animal Protection Laws from Around the World: Brazil

Constitutional Provision In Brazil, animal protection rules are placed within different levels in the hierarchy of law. This week guest writer Marina Baptista Rosa will explore what it means in practice that Brazil is among the few countries of the world where animal interests are protected in the Constitution. The other countries are Switzerland, India, Slovenia, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, and…
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Blog: Animal Protection Laws from Around the World: China

600 million pigs are killed in China each year. If this number represented the average sized pigs, snout to tail, they would cover the distance between London and Beijing. And that’s just pigs, never mind the countless other animals slaughtered for the meat industry. This week’s guest writer who is located in China, will look at what legislation is in place to protect the welfare of animals in the…
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Blog: Money Laundering Proceeds from Crimes against Animals

Money on the line hanging out to dry Edie Bowles and Sam March Advocates for Animals, the UK’s first animal protection law firm, has found that crimes against animals can take many forms and can, unfortunately, be a lucrative business for offenders. This is true for a wide variety of animal and wildlife offending, including: puppy farms, illegal wildlife trade, unlawful agricultural practices, dog…
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Blog: RSPCA Reviews Prosecutorial Role: Implications for Animal Protection

Black Kitten As the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“RSPCA”) announces plans to transfer its animal welfare prosecuting role to the Crown Prosecution Service (“CPS”), Sam March outlines what this might mean for animal protection and other animal protection groups. The RSPCA Steps Back as Prosecutor Since 1824, the RSPCA has been a leading organisation in the prosecution…
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Case Summary: Federal Republic of Germany v Esso Raffinage and Others

Rabbit in Cage 22 January 2021 by David Thomas Judgment: Federal Republic of Germany v Esso Raffinage and Others Facts Esso Raffinage (Esso) registered its chemical with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), an EU agency, as it was required to do before it could sell it in the EU. This was under Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, known as REACH. Under REACH rules, given the volume at which it sold the…
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Blog:Animal Protection Laws from Around the World: Finland

Brown Bear This week, guest writer, Marine Baptista Rosa, explores animal protection laws in Finland. Despite its modest population of 5,5 million people, Finland is home to a vibrant animal protection advocacy movement. Animal justice is an increasingly present topic on university curriculums and in the political agenda. Finnish animal protection law Due to its membership in the European Union…
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Blog: Animal Protection Laws from Around the World: England and Wales

Wild Cat The UK has been a pioneer of animal protection laws. In 1822, it passed the world’s first legislation, a limited measure protecting cattle, and protection has progressively increased since then. This week Advocates for Animals’ David Thomas summarises the centrepiece legislation in England and Wales. Protection now extends to animals in all sorts of situations – in the home, on farms, in…
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Animal Protection Laws from Around the World: Switzerland

Ibex on op of mountain This week's guest writer, Nisha Cardoza, discusses animal protection law in Switzerland. When were animals recognized as “not-things”? Switzerland could be considered one of the leading countries when it comes to animal welfare in Europe. Under Swiss law, animals were formally recognized as “not-things” in 2003[1](https://advocatesforanimalscom.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post…
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Blog: Animal Protection Laws from Around the World: India

This week guest writer Aditi Bardia explores animal protection laws in India. Background India is renowned for harboring cultures and religions. Interestingly, the forms of depiction are not limited to architecture, art and literature, animals fall well within the ambit. As has been reiterated in the Indian folklores, animals hold an intrinsic significance not only as important elements of the…
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Case Summary: McKiver v Murphy-Browne

Pigs in transit van 24 November 2020 by Samuel March Judgment: McKiver v. Murphy-Brown, LLC, No. 19-1019 (4th Cir. 2020) On 21 November 2020, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a jury's verdict that a commercial hog 'producer' was liable for both compensatory and punitive damages. Facts Murphy-Brown, LLC (“the Appellant”) is a commercial hog producer, who contracted with…
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Blog: Animal Protection Laws from Around the World: Hong Kong

Mother and baby monkey on grass This week guest writer Daphne Ng, briefly discusses notable differences between Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Ordinance (Cap. 169) (“Cap. 169”) and the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (“AWA”), the two main legislations in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom respectively that govern animal welfare. Scope of cruelty offences Section 3 of Cap. 169 penalizes specific offences…
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Blog: CITES and How It Can Help Animals

Pangolin International wildlife trade has received an increasing amount of attention over recent years, whether this be due to the near extinction of pangolins, the trade in ivory or the export and import of 'trophies' from hunting. In this blog, Advocates for Animals solicitor Alice Collinson will explain how the international trade in wildlife is regulated. What is CITES? The Convention on…
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Judicial Review Consultation

Introduction Advocates for Animals (AfA) is the UK’s first law firm dedicated to ensuring that animals are given the protection intended by the legislature. This Response is written on behalf of animal protection organisations and concerned individuals named in the Annex. The Response focuses on those parts of the terms of reference of most relevance to the signatories. The review follows that…
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Case Summary: Highbury Poultry Farm Produce V CPS

Chicken 16 October 2020 by Samuel March Judgment: [R (on the application of Highbury Poultry Farm Produce Ltd) (Appellant) v Crown Prosecution Service (Respondent) 2020 UKSC 39](https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2018-0231-judgment.pdf) On 16 October 2020 the UK Supreme Court unanimously ruled against Highbury Poultry Farm Produce Ltd (“the Appellants”) in an appeal concerning the scope…
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Blog: The Internal Markets Bill: implications for trade in low-welfare animal products

Fur coats on clothes rack The Internal Markets Bill seeks to promote frictionless trade and avoid regulatory divergence between parts of the UK after the Brexit Transition Period ends and EU law falls away. In this blog, Advocates for Animals paralegal Sam March discusses what this means for local bans on products such as fur or microbeads and potential future restrictions on trade in products…
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Blog: The Risks of Brexit to UK Animal Protection Laws

Piglets This week’s guest writer Claire Edwards (LLB), Head of Development for Planetary International, discusses animal welfare as the Brexit transition period comes to a close. What will happen to our animal protection laws on Brexit day? The UK Brexit transition period is due to end in just a few months time, on the 31st December 2020, and it is still unknown what this will mean for animal…
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How Language Influences Perception of animals and the Law that Follows

This weeks guest writer PhD Candidate Pablo Castello moves between Critical Animal Studies, Continental Philosophy, and Animal Ethics. Pablo will briefly talk us through how language undermines an animals’ value under the law. How language determines ethics and law In most fields, including law, language is thought of as being representationalist. This means that words are meant to represent…
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Blog: How Language Influences Perception of animals and the Law that Follows

Rabbit in front of log This weeks guest writer PhD Candidate Pablo Castello moves between Critical Animal Studies, Continental Philosophy, and Animal Ethics. Pablo will briefly talk us through how language undermines an animals’ value under the law. How language determines ethics and law In most fields, including law, language is thought of as being representationalist. This means that words are…
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Case summary: Orton v Lane

Dog playing in snow 1 July 2020 by David Thomas This case was about Sylvie, a blind cross collie rescued from a ‘killing’ shelter in Romania and sent to a UK rescue charity. Advocates for Animals (AfA) represented the defendant, June Lane, in the appeal proceedings. AfA would not normally act against an animal charity. However, the case had unusual features and presented an opportunity to chip…
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Blog: Animal Advocacy and Advertising Standards: Opportunities and Threats

Calf Complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority can be an effective way for animal advocates to hold animal industries to account. However, standards cut both ways, so animal protection campaigners or cruelty-free companies, particularly those who make bold or controversial claims in their adverts, risk finding themselves on the defensive. In this blog, Advocates for Animals paralegal, Sam…
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Blog: Live Animal Exports

Cow transported in blue truck This week’s guest writer Maddie Miller discusses live animal exports, involving a complex series of movements and operations which, coupled with the current regulation, has created a welfare risk to the animals. The export of live animals from the United Kingdom has increased over time, sparking debate and controversy over its regulation. Animals are put in inhumane…
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Blog: Animal Welfare in the Agriculture Bill

Cows This week’s guest writer Lydia Robinson discusses the long-awaited, updated Agriculture Bill that was released on 16 January 2020, complete with its plan to govern farming in England after Brexit. Redirecting subsidies to farmers One of the landmark changes is the proposal to scrap the current EU system of offering subsidies to farmers based on the amount of land they farm, in favour of a…
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Blog: The Importance of Professionalising Animal Law

Lady Justice next to black cat Just over a year since Advocates for Animals launched, Edie takes the opportunity to reflect on what we have learnt and why continued professionalisation in this area is so important. Current landscape Animal welfare has been a part of public discourse for a significant period of time, with impressive wins along the way. However, it is undeniable that the…
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Case Summary: Zoo's Animals have Legal Rights, Rules Islamabad High Court

Asian Elephant 22 May 2020 by Samuel March Judgment: Islamabad Wildlife Management Board v Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad W.P. No.1155/2019 On 21st May 2020, Chief Justice Athar Minallah sitting in the High Court in Islamabad, Pakistan, issued a landmark 67-page judgment which found, inter alia, that the animals in Marghazar Zoo had legal rights, and should be moved to appropriate sanctuaries…
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Blog: Bee Aware - The Law as it Pertains to Bees

Bee on red flower Today, on United Nations “World Bee Day”, Sam March considers the extent to which the law protects these crucial pollinators in England and Wales. Our ecosystems, food security and survival all depend on bees. According to the United Nations, nearly 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species depend entirely, or at least in part, on animal pollination, as do more than 75% of…
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Case Summary: Challenge to Ivory Act Dismissed by Court of Appeal

Elephant 19 May 2020 by Samuel March Judgment: Friends of Antique Cultural Treasures Ltd v DEFRA [2020 EWCA Civ 649](https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2020/649.html) On 18 May 2020 the Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that the restrictions imposed by the Ivory Act 2018 (“the Act”) do not violate the EU rules on the free movement of goods, nor the fundamental rights to respect for property…
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Blog: Companion Animals and Domestic Abuse

Dog looking up This week’s guest writer Christina Warner explores the link between companion animals and domestic abuse. What domestic abuse laws protect families and do they apply to companion animals? The Family Law Act, 1996 governs the application procedure and process in terms of family court injunctions involving domestic abuse. Under the FLA those who are seeking assistance from the family…
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Blog: Animal Welfare and Wildlife Crime: Bringing Private Prosecutions

Lady Justice statue Successful criminal prosecutions can shut down abusive farms or cruel hunts and reclaim thousands from unlicensed breeders, poachers or wildlife traders. In this blog Advocates for Animals paralegal Sam March will outline what the process is for bringing one yourself. Why prosecute privately? The criminal law imposes hard limits on how people can treat animals. The Animal…
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Blog: Animals on Trial

Piglet As the argument for animal rights and personhood grows louder, this week's guest writer Constance Collard explores what animal legal identity meant in days gone by. A common question that is asked by people not familiar with animal law, is if animals were legal persons should they also be held accountable for their actions? This is explored in jest, but there is certainly historical…
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Blog: Animal Agriculture, Lax Laws and Poor Practices: Rearing Pandemic

Virus under microscope The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into perspective discrepancies between countries in terms of animal welfare and biosecurity law. At a time where the consequences of lax legal frameworks are all too apparent, Samuel March discusses past, present and future biosecurity threats across China, the US and the UK, and the role of animal law in protecting against them. China: the…
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Blog: The Evolution of Animal Law

Sheep This article will look at several trends in the development of modern animal laws.[1] One of them, as noted by Kelch, is the shift in the primary motives underpinning these laws. While early animal laws were often motivated by economic, religious, and social reasons, modern animal legislations began to see protecting animals for their own sake as the primary objective: the ‘animal protection…
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Blog: Left Behind

Dogs in water The earth is running amok with a domino effect of natural disasters everywhere you look. The World Health Organisation estimates that every year, natural disasters affect close to 160 million people worldwide. The ‘Attenborough Effect’ means that people are better aware of the impact that natural disasters have on the planet in general terms, however, knowledge and information are…
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Blog: Whistle(blow) While You Work

Silver whistle Animal rights activism often involves exposing wrongdoing and malpractice, but what can a person do if they find out their employer; or just someone they know of through work, is the one committing the wrong? ‘Whistleblowing’ is sometimes the only way such information can be brought into the public domain, or even to the attention of a relevant authority with the power to remedy…
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Blog: Separate and Unequal: Why Nonhuman Legal Personhood is Needed

Orangutan looking out of cage One of the law’s most fundamental divides is between the human and nonhuman. If you are human, you have basic rights to life, to liberty, to freedom from torture and inhuman treatment, to non-discrimination, to freedom from enslavement, to a family life and so on. Of course, violations of these rights are frequent, but they exist as de jure rights under international…
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Blog: How Injunctions Function

Golden statue holding up golden weighing scales Activists are often on the receiving end of injunctions; the recent Canada Goose case being one such example. So, this post will address, very briefly, a basic overview of what injunctions are. Whilst we hope this helps activists, this should not be taken as legal advice as each case is unique. At their most basic, injunctions are just orders of…
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Blog: A Promulgation of Social Rights for Animals

Two rats In Switzerland, it is illegal to keep certain social animals, such as guinea-pigs, rats, gerbils and mice, on their own (without legal justification)[1](#_ftn1). Many might find this surprising, (eccentric even!) but despite this law being passed in Switzerland over a decade ago (2008), the discussion over affording social rights to animals in law has thus far seemingly failed to pervade…
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Blog: Hydroelectric Dam Devastation

Orangutan The Amazon rainforest covers around 5.5 million square kilometres of land and sprawls over approximately 9 countries, it is considered one of the most biodiverse regions on earth. There is an increasing concern in respect of the rainforest and its potential destruction due to 60 new hydroelectric dam projects that are currently in progress and in respect of those that have already been…
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Blog: The International Wildlife Trade Conference Geneva 2019

Colourful lizzard How to balance international commerce without driving species to extinction Every three years there is an international meeting that takes place to talk about international wildlife trade. The wildlife trade is worth billions of dollars annually and the overarching question is how to balance this international commerce without driving species to extinction. The meetings are…
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Blog: How to go Marching Without Getting the Boot

People marching in the street Animal Rights Activism and Employment Law As believers in animal rights and welfare, it is almost expected of us to engage in activism and proselytising. As the case of Jordi Casamitjana shows: the cost can be high when our beliefs compel us to act. So, whilst we are used to making sacrifices for animals; here I would like to examine the potential consequences in the…
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Blog: Changing the Law for Lucy and Her Fellow Breeding Sisters

Puppy looking up The law, as a whole, has a reputation for slow and conservative change. However, secondary legislation has the advantage of amending current statutes rather than creating new ones and therefore changes to the law can be implemented more quickly and cost-effectively than the creation of a whole new statute. This has happened in the case of The Animal Welfare (Licensing of…
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Blog: A New Era for Thoroughbred Horses?

Horses racing on track In March of this year, a number of U.S. congressmen introduced a bill, the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019, in the hope of creating national-standard drug testing for racehorses. Currently, the United States is the only major racing jurisdiction without set rules, as the existing law regarding horse racing is regulated on a state by state basis; this, unfortunately, sees…
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Blog: Humane Education

People writing on books The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics Summer School 2019 - What We Learned about Humane Education This year, the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics hosted its sixth Summer School. The theme was “humane education”, with a range of speakers from around the globe proposing methods for “increasing sensitivity to animals and humans”. I was lucky enough to attend one of its four days…
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Blog: I predict a Riot! Or Is It a Violent Disorder?

Child on man's shoulders screaming in microphone Let’s see what the difference actually is. From Wat Tyler to Extinction Rebellion, public protest has always been a weapon in the activist’s arsenal. Here we set out a very brief overview of the general law pertaining to protest. This can only be the most superficial outline however. The laws are complex, how they are applied is often arbitrary and…
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Blog: Squirrel-eater Convictions no Victory for Animals

Silhouette of people protesting On Monday two men who ate dead, uncooked squirrels at a vegan food fair were found guilty of public a public order offence and fined. This was a crass, gratuitous act of carnist trolling, by callous individuals whose food-related ethics could not be further from most animal rights activists. As such, animal lovers may be tempted to celebrate their punishment at the…
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Blog: Curious and Unusual Animal Laws

Goldfish In the ever-glamorous world of property law, I am used to reading archaic covenants in leases such as: ‘The playing of musical instruments and the entertainment of livestock is not permitted after the hour of ten o’clock in the evening’. Such clauses conjure up delightful images of goats, pigs and sheep raving until the early hours of the morning, causing insomniac neighbours to beat…
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Blog: Canada Passes Two Groundbreaking Animal Protection Laws

Shark swimming in water People are often shocked to hear that Canada’s federal Parliament hasn’t passed any significant animal protection legislation since the 1800s. Last month this all changed with the passage of two groundbreaking new animal protection bills. These laws also come on the heels of a recent Canadian ban on whale and dolphin captivity, which was discussed in an earlier blog post…
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Blog: Freeing Willy

Whale jumping out of water Canada introduces a new law that bans the captivity of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. A new law has passed in Canada making it illegal to keep whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity. This historic move bans the capture of these marine mammals for captivity and is an overhaul of the Fisheries Act. The successful Bill S-203 (nicknamed the ‘Free Willy’ bill) passed in…
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Blog: The Cats Bill – More Legal Protection For Animals on The Roads?

Cat in front of stairs Last year, while driving to work, I was unfortunate enough to witness a deer being hit by a car on the road ahead. The driver failed to stop so I called the police, who then called a vet. Thankfully, the deer survived but it made me think about the injustice of animals, both domestic and wild, who are the victims of accidents on our roads every day and have to die alone and…
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Blog: Defamation Law: For Fun and (Non) Profit(s)!

People marching A major barrier for activists in speaking out against animal oppression, or publicising the results of investigations, can be the threat of defamation proceedings. Those of us of a certain age will remember the “McLibel” case. But, are defamation proceedings something you really need to worry about? Well, with a little foreknowledge, probably not. So, the purpose of this blog post…
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Blog: Consequence-Free Cruelty

Pug face A recent BBC article highlighted that only 8% of those convicted of animal cruelty offences in the last decade have been immediately incarcerated, with the courts appearing to prefer fines, community sentences and suspended sentences instead[1](#_ftn1). In Wales, the few who are given custodial sentences rarely serve even 6 months; there were only 2 reported cases of a 6 month sentence…
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Blog: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Animal Rights

Robot hand touching a butterfly Despite the long struggle to emancipate nonhuman animals from human exploitation, we seem to be a long way from achieving our goal. Moreover, the rapid advancement of emerging new technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and their implementation in the animal agricultural business presents new challenges for our consideration. Human society is currently…
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Blog: Animal Rights in Singapore – Time to Give Animals a Voice in Court

Gallery of animals The culling of 24 free roaming chickens in the Sin Ming area hit the headlines this week. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (the “AVA”) stated that it had received over 200 complaints across the island about such chickens last year. The main complaints related to noise nuisance, but the AVA also explained that an unchecked roaming chicken population could increase the risk…
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Blog: Know your (Vegan) Rights!

Vegetables on chopping board with knife This short blog will explain why vegans have rights, what rights they have and where vegans can obtain more information and help. Why do vegans have rights? Vegans have rights because their lives are directed by deep convictions concerning the exploitation of animals. Vegans wish to avoid participation in animal use and therefore have daily needs such as…
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Blog: Dog Fighting Not Yet Muzzled

Dog looking through old fence Ahead of the American ‘Dog Fighting Awareness Day’, the RSPCA released a report which stated that there had been almost 8,000 reported dog fights in England & Wales over the last 4 years. This is despite the activity having been illegal for almost 200 years, leading to questions of the law’s effectiveness. Dog fighting is a blood sport undertaken by dogs whereby two…
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Blog: The Call for a Canadian Ban on Cat Declawing

Ginger cat Cat declawing (also known as onychectomy or partial digital amputation) is a cruel practice that Canadian federal law still allows. Cat declawing involves amputating a portion of each toe bone in the cat’s paw. In a human, the equivalent would be cutting off the first joint of each finger. The cat is then forced to walk on the amputated paws for the rest of his or her life. Apart from…
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Blog: Wild animals in Circuses - The curtain Comes Down

Elephant head looking through red curtains “It’s funny, but I truly never liked the circus…You’ve got animals being tortured, you’ve got death-defying acts, and you’ve got clowns. It’s like a horror show. What’s to like?” - Tim Burton, Director of Dumbo WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES ACT 2018 In March 2018, MP Trudy Harrison introduced Bill 175 in Parliament[1](#_ftn1) which, once passed, will become…
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Blog: The World's Water is Having a Dark Day

Turtle in water As World Water Day approaches, the earth is showing increasingly frequent signs of degradation. Even as recently as March 19, a whale that starved to death in the Philippines was found to have 40 kg of plastic in its stomach. It has never been more important to highlight the problems surrounding marine life and climate change, as well as other environmental problems like plastic…
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Blog: Scotland Tackles Foxhunting Loopholes

Fox sleeping Scotland banned foxhunting in 2002 under the Protection of Wild Animals (Scotland) Act (PWAA). However, the PWAA provides an exception for the flushing out of foxes for pest control purposes. The current law provides inadequate protection for wildlife because hunt groups have been using the exception to perform what they term ‘pest control’ on farms and privately owned land. This has…
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Blog: Seizing the Opportunity in Brexit

Cows on grass One of the largest events in the UK’s political history is set to take place in 2019, with the UK’s exit from the European Union. While it is unclear what the future holds for the UK, the new Agriculture Bill may shed some light on the future of agriculture and its relationship with the environment in the UK. The EU splits its funding into two pillars. The majority of its funding…
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Blog: Are You Fur Real?

Racoon in grass From 11 February 2019, UK retailers may face legal sanctions for advertising products as containing fake fur when they are actually made from real fur. On 17 January, the Compliance Team of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) issued an enforcement notice, after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found online retailer Boohoo had been selling a jumper covered in pom…
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Blog: The Growing Practice of Animal Law

Human hand holding monkey hand 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 195…
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