Animal Law



This course addresses the extent to which our legal system and cultural values affect the ways in which legislators, judges, politicians, administrators, advocates, scholars, and lay people treat and speak about animals other than humans. The evolution, interpretation, and enforcement of animal-related laws will be treated, as well as whether and how such laws should be changed, and if so, what the effects might be.

Among the topics to be covered are the legal classification of animals as property; loss of companionship and emotional distress; veterinary malpractice; anti-cruelty laws; standing to sue on behalf of animals; and regulation of the commercial use of animals. Reference may be made to wildlife protection and endangered species, but these issues are properly the focus of other courses, such as National Resources of Environment Law.