ALL CREATURES great and small will take centre stage in an online think-tank, developed exclusively for lawyers to help end animal suffering through legislative change.
Launched by Voiceless: The Fund For Animals, the service will allow 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.
Titled Voiceless Law Talk, the online service was established as a reaction to the lack of specific animal law courses in our universities. The creators argue Australian lawyers have, until now, had no capacity to speak collectively to each other online across the country on this subject.
Animal law is a growing market in the Unites States, with more than 35 prestigious law schools, including Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, Berkley, UCLA, Duke and Michigan State, now offering courses.
While a generation ago the great environmental law debate began, said Voiceless Law Talk creator Brian Sherman AM, “now the world is beginning to wake up to the next great challenge facing humanity — the care and protection of animals”.
“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.
The service will “provide 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,” he said.
“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’.”
Register at www.voiceless.org.au