Australian Animal Law: Context and Critique
This book approaches the study of animal law topics through the lens of the legal and regulatory framework governing the interaction between humans and animals. The key characteristics of the framework are identified and explored throughout, starting with two unusual cattle cases in Western Australia that illustrate the paradoxical nature of this discipline.
Australian animal law prompts questions about the relationship between animal law and complex historical, social, economic and political forces. The book covers the major areas of animal law in detail, incorporating accessible contextual material and allowing students to consolidate their understanding and build upon their knowledge.
By relating specific content areas to the discipline’s broader characteristics and themes, the book highlights the problematic nature of the existing legal and regulatory framework and gives students the skills to suggest and evaluate alternatives.
Australian animal law provides students with the requisite comprehensive knowledge of the subject. Key areas include the concept of unnecessary suffering, the effective exemption of most animals from the operation of cruelty laws, regulatory conflicts of interest, the hidden nature of animal use and the lack of transparency in animal law. Yet it also invites reflection on the way law helps to construct the relationship between human and non-human animals, including through its silences and omissions.
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Elizabeth Ellis is an honorary senior fellow with the School of Law at the University of Wollongong where she taught for many years. She introduced animal law into the Bachelor of Laws degree in 2008, making UOW one of the earliest Australian universities to teach the subject.
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