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What is animal law?

Updated: Mar 25


Animal law

Animal law is a broad field that explores all areas affecting animals. It is about animal health and welfare, but it is about their rights, too. It covers various concerns, from handling animal diseases to complex issues like animal cloning1


Animal law isn’t an isolated field. It intersects with other traditional legal areas, including environmental, constitutional, family, and criminal law2,3



Animal law relates to or has an impact on nonhuman animals.




Factory farming significantly contributes to environmental degradation, an area deeply connected to animal law. Source 




Civil rights in animal advocacy are integral to animal law, addressing many ethical and legal issues. Source 




World Animal Protection. (2023, April 27). Encouraging animal sentience laws around the world.


Animal law differs across the globe. Unique cultural and moral values shape each country’s laws. They range from recognising non-human animal sentience to having no anti-cruelty laws. Different cultures and societies vary in understanding and prioritising animal welfare and rights4


As of 2019, 32 countries had formally recognised non-human animal sentience.


This global variation helps us appreciate the complexity of animal welfare and encourages us to think about how we can improve their lives, no matter where we are.






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