Animal law publications

Books and articles

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Canadian Perspectives on Animals and the Law

This co-edited project represents the first book-length jurisprudential work to engage in a sustained analysis of Canadian law concerning the treatment of animals at the hands of human beings. It contains contributions from professors and lawyers across Canada. The hope is that it will help enrich the discourse on animals and the law in Canada by situating doctrinal issues and legal developments in the broader context of ethical and philosophical debate about human-animal relationships. ... more

Animal Law in Australasia: Continuing the Dialogue

This second entirely revised edition builds upon the significant developments in animal law that have occurred since the publication of the original version and also addresses emerging areas of concern, with eleven brand new chapters. Contributions from Australian, New Zealand and international academics and practitioners cover topics ranging from the explanation of basic concepts of animal protection and theoretical underpinnings of animal law to specific matters of interest including the regulation of companion animals, the use of animals in research, dog control legislation, animals in ... more

Animal Law in Australasia: A New Dialogue

The first book ever published in Australia or New Zealand devoted exclusively to the subject of animal law. In it, Australian, New Zealand and international experts cover topics ranging from core concepts and theoretical questions around “animal welfare” and law, to specific matters of concern: animal cruelty sentencing, live animal export, recreational hunting, and commercial uses of animals in farming and ... more

Published chapters

Bringing Animal Abusers to Justice through Independent Means: Private Prosecutions and the Enforcement of Canadian Animal Protection Legislation (2015)

Co-authored with Sophie Gaillard — — In this contribution to Canadian Perspectives on Animals and the Law, we consider the viability of bringing a private prosecution under Canadian animal cruelty legislation.

The Canadian Seal Hunt as Seen in Fraser’s Mirror (2015)

Co-writing with Lesli Bisgould  — In this contribution to Canadian Perspectives on Animals and the Law, we consider the Canadian seal hunt, providing an overview of its history and the law governing it. The example serves to show how the structure of wildlife management laws and the assumptions underlying them fail to protect animals and effectively protect those who seek to hurt them.

Introduction to a New Dialogue (2009) in Animal Law in Australasia: A New Dialogue (2009)

Co-authored with Steven White — The introduction to my book Animal Law in Australasia, it explores the various themes running through the larger work, and considers why it is essential to being examining this subject in a more sophisticated way. Read the introduction.

Deconstructing the Welfare Paradigm: What Has the Law Governing Humane Treatment Done to Make the World a Better Place for Animals? (2009, 2013)

The enactment of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 was supposed to herald a new era of promise for animals in New Zealand, with welfare the primary consideration. The article examines where the Act has succeeded and failed in obtaining a better life for animals.

Animal Law: A Subject in Search of Scholarship (2009)

The article explains how animal law courses are positive for students, helping them both to have a deeper understanding of animal issues and a broader understanding of the law and what it can achieve for vulnerable beings.

Published articles

The Mens Rea for Animal Cruelty Offences after R v Gerling: A Dog’s Breakfast (2016) 26 Criminal Reports (7th) 267

This case commentary considers the British Columbia Court of Appeal’s decision in R. v. Gerling – the first appellate authority in more than 40 years to discuss the elements of the cruelty against animal offences located in s. 445.1 of the Code. In this comment, I discuss the decision and examine what it does both for the criminal law and the protection of animals.

Opportunity Lost: The Supreme Court Misses a Historic Opportunity to Consider Question of Public Interest Standing for Animal Interests (2012) 30 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 129

In this article, I examine what was lost by the Supreme Court’s decision to deny leave in Reece v. Edmonton (City), explore the important questions that were at stake in the appeal, and suggest why the Supreme Court should have decided otherwise.

Animal Welfare Law and The Concept of Dialogue: Can Welfare Law Simultaneously Fail and Succeed? (2012)

18 Animal Law Rev. 281: In this article, I explore the possibility that some types of animal welfare law, while “failing” in their own right, can nonetheless improve the dialogue between the state, its citizens and animal use industries and as a consequence gradually establish a public space in which meaningful animal welfare reform can in fact occur.

Wildlife and the Animal Welfare Act 1999: Can “Cruel” Acts of Hunting Ever Be Prosecuted? (2011)

15 NZ J. of Env. L. 213: Section 175 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 exempts “hunting” and “killing” a wild animal from prosection. What is the impact of this section? Does it allow any conduct to be used upon wild animals, or merely certain types of activity? I argue that the vagueness of this section impedes prosecution of crimes against wild animals. Download article.

Turn Up the Dialogue (2008) 1 Australian Journal of Animal Protection Law 6

This short piece was written as the introductory commentary for the inaugural edition of the Australian Animal Protection Journal. It discusses the progress that has been made in developing animal law in the region over the past several years and provides a preview of my book, Animal Law in Australasia: A New Dialogue.

Five Years of the ‘New’ Animal Welfare Regime: Lessons Learned From New Zealand’s Decision to Modernize Its Animal Welfare Legislation (2005) 11 Animal Law Review 7

This article critically examines New Zealand’s law governing the treatment of farm animals, and consider the progress – and lack thereof – made during the first five years under the AWA. It focuses upon “lessons learned” from the ‘new’ era of animal welfare that began with the enactment of the AWA, with the hope that these lessons will provide insight for animal advocates in jurisdictions contemplating similar changes. This article was reprinted as a chapter in Animal Rights and Law (Icfai University Press: India, 2008) at 236-274. Download article.

Flawed Logic Impedes Animal Welfare Act Sentencing [2004] New Zealand Law Journal 357

Changes designed to increase sentences handed down for significant cruelty against animals have been mostly ineffective in New Zealand. It is submitted that the reason for this failure is a flawed form of reasoning being applied in the sentencing for these offences. This article will consider how an inappropriate judicial attitude to crimes against animals has impeded Parliament’s objective of bumping up the penalties for these offences. Download article.