find the latest legal job
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Academic Dean and Head of School of the TC Beirne School of Law
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· An outstanding opportunity · Provide educational, research and organisational leadership
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Speak and squeak and squawk for the animals

Speak and squeak and squawk for the animals

ALL CREATURES great and small took centre stage at an animal law workshop last weekend for practising lawyers and law students. In the first national workshop of this type, lawyers, academics…

ALL CREATURES great and small took centre stage at an animal law workshop last weekend for practising lawyers and law students.

In the first national workshop of this type, lawyers, academics and law students from New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory registered to take part. Developed for lawyers to help end animal suffering through legislative change, the workshop was organised by Voiceless: The Fund For Animals, and Animals Australia.

At the weekend workshop, Lyn White, communications director at Animals Australia, discussed why change in animal law is needed, looking specifically at inequities in law, enforcement, penalties and community attitudes.

Animals Australia executive director, Glenys Oogjes looked at the past 21 years of Australian animal welfare laws, as well as industry and government alliances, attitudes and government processes. Voiceless corporate counsel Katrina Sharman discussed the emergence of animal law from an international perspective.

Animal law is a growing field in the United States, with more than 35 prestigious law schools, including Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, Berkley, UCLA, Duke and Michigan State now offering courses. As well, the University of New South Wales was the first Australian university to offer an animal law course earlier this year.

While the great environmental law debate began a generation ago, said Brian Sherman AM, “now, the world is beginning to wake up to the next great challenge facing humanity — the care and protection of animals”. Sherman is the creator of Voiceless Law Talk, an online service established as a reaction to the lack of specific animal law courses in our universities. Sherman argues that Australian lawyers have, until now, had no capacity to speak collectively to each other online across the country on this subject.

“The law currently allows for more than 200,000 pregnant pigs, or ‘sows’ to be kept in confinement in barren metal and concrete stalls. In many, if not most cases these female pigs cannot take one step forward or backwards, cannot turn around or lie down with comfort,” said Sherman.

Delegates at the workshop discussed animal law as a legal discipline, the role of law societies and bar associations in promoting the development of animal law and inherent problems in legislative powers and allocation of responsibilities.

Voiceless also provides an online think tank for legal professionals, a service that allows Australia’s 45,000 solicitors and barristers, as well as 25,000 law students, to take part in a debate on how federal, state and local politicians should change laws to protect domestic and farm animals such as cats and dogs, birds, sheep, pigs, cows and chickens from cruelty.

Voiceless Law Talk “[provides] a forum to discuss how our elected officials at local, state and national level need to change their respective laws to adapt to evolving community attitudes. We hope Voiceless Law Talk will become the birthplace for how laws across Australia need to change,” said Sherman.

“It is true that we have laws designed to protect animals from cruelty, but those laws set certain limits on how we treat animals. Large numbers of animals, especially farm animals, are exempt from true protections and allowed to suffer provided that their pain is considered ‘necessary’.”

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Speak and squeak and squawk for the animals
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Gavel, legal book, criminal lawyers
Jan 19 2018
Three criminal lawyers named NSW magistrates
The NSW Attorney-General has announced the appointment of three new local court magistrates. ...
Warning
Jan 18 2018
Lawyer highlights ‘unintended consequences’ on SSM estate planning
A succession lawyer has warned that the right for same-sex couples to legally marry could have a sub...
drug rehabilitation services available in rural and remote communities
Jan 18 2018
ALS survey shines spotlight on insufficient rehabilitation services
A new survey posted by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has revealed an alarming insight into ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...