Legal Protection for Animals

March 6, 2014 Law Research

animal laws to protect domestic and wild animals

There are many animal lovers in the world. They like to ensure their pets or favorite animals are regarded as living things, and should be protected under the law. In many state and federal laws, animals are often considered to be property and have little to no legal rights. Because of this, if an owner decides to give away a pet or let them go into the wild, then there are no legal consequences for that action, even if that means the animal will not have a certain comfortable lifestyle.

Animal law is a mixture of statutory and case laws where the well-being of nonhuman animals are regarded with the utmost importance. It covers the rights of all animals: pets (or companion animals), entertainment animals, research animals, ones raised for food, as well as wildlife. In addition, animal law is sometimes encompassed with environmental law since where an animal lives can affect its lifestyle. For instance, a seagull living in an area where an oil spill has occurred will affect its quality of life due to the pollution of its natural habitat.

Even though animals have no legal say in their lives or the conditions they live in, there are an abundance of anticruelty laws put in place to ensure animals are treated humanely. For example, unless it is specifically “needed” and “justifiable”, then an owner cannot deny food, water, and shelter to their pet.  These requirements are very minimal, easy to follow, and anyone who complies with these rules will not be punished.

There are many people out there who actively try to make the lives of both pets and wild animals better. For example, the Animal Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1979 by attorneys who wanted to shape and form the new, emerging animal law practice. They stood up for enforcing anti-cruelty laws, and ensuring animals of all kinds are treated humanely. They also advocate against the suffering and abuse of animals through legal defense.

In a world where having a voice is important, working in animal law can be a fulfilling career, especially for those who love animals of all kinds. You have the option to help both domestic and wild animals achieve a better life by giving them the voice they do not have in our society. By becoming an environmental enthusist or being involved in animal law, these attorneys and legislators pave the way for the legal rights that all living species deserve.

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