Animal Law Overview

“Animal law is, in its simplest (and broadest) sense, a combination of statutory and decisional law in which the legal, social, or biological nature of non-human animals is an important factor.”

The subject known as Animal Law is not a distinct legal doctrine per se, but rather a subject-specific lens through which one can focus the traditional substantive areas of legal theory and practice, such as: criminal law, property law, administrative law, constitutional law, torts, contracts, as well as comparative law, family law, and wills & estates.

The field of Animal Law has experienced near exponential growth over the past decade and a half. In the Spring of 2000 Harvard Law School became the ninth law school to teach a course in Animal Law. Today, over 160 U.S. law schools have offered an Animal Law-related course, as have over a dozen in Canada, Australia & New Zealand. Similarly, over 200 Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapters have now been formed at law schools worldwide.

Animal Law is the subject of both annual & biennial national and international conferences, as well as a multitude of issue-specific and regional symposia & events.

Animal Law Journals

Animal Law Review

Dating back to 1994, Lewis & Clark Law School’s Animal Law Review is the nation’s oldest law journal devoted entirely to the discussion of legal issues relating to animals.

Animal Law eJournal

Sponsored by the Syracuse University College of Law, The Animal Law eJournal, provides a forum for posting both completed works and works in progress on legal, policy, and jurisprudential issues relating to animals.

Food Law eJournal

Produced by international business school HEC Paris, the Food Law eJournal includes content with an aim to promote and bring together the rapidly emerging scholarship focusing on the regulation of food.

Global Journal of Animal Law

Åbo Akademi University’s  Global Journal of Animal Law is an open-access legal journal. We welcome all submissions addressing the legal status of animals. In addition to doctrinal investigations, we are also happy to consider manuscripts falling under legal philosophy/theory, comparative law, political theory, socio-legal studies, empirical legal studies as well as other cognate disciplines. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

Journal of Animal Law & Ethics

The Journal of Animal Law & Ethics was started by members of the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund in February, 2005, with the goal of providing a respected legal journal that addresses some of the most pressing issues of the day regarding animal law and ethics.

 Journal of Animal & Environmental Law

University of Louisville Brandis School of Law’s Journal of Animal & Environmental Law  aspires to be an essential resource for academia and policy makers on all matters relating to animal and environmental law.

Journal of Animal & Natural Resource Law

Michigan State University College of Law’s Journal of Animal & Natural Resource Law seeks to explore the legal and public policy issues surrounding animals at all levels of government: local, state, national, comparative national and international.

Journal of Food Law and Policy

University of Arkansas School of Law’s Journal of Food Law and Policy has long been recognized as a leader in publishing articles and essays on food law and its impact on society. Article topics include food labeling and safety, consumer interest in food policy, the environmental effects of food production, agricultural law and its impact on our food system, global food security, food assistance, nutrition policy, animal welfare, international food law, the regulation of biotechnology and other new food technologies, and a wide variety of other dynamic issues affecting food law and policy.

Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy

Stetson University College Of Law’s Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy addressed legal and political issues concerning the human race’s interrelationship with and management of wildlife species, their habitats, and the biosphere.

Mid-Atlantic Journal on Law and Public Policy

The Mid-Atlantic Journal on Law and Public Policy works in collaboration with Maryland State Bar Association Animal Law Section and the annual MSBA Animal Law Symposium.

Stanford Journal of Animal Law & Policy

Stanford Law School’s Journal of Animal Law and Policy was founded in August 2007 to provide a high-quality, widely accessible forum for the publication and discussion of animal law scholarship. It  currently on hiatus, but you can view past volumes.

Annual Animal Law Conferences

The Animal Law Conference
Co-presented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School, the Animal Law Conference is an annual conference, which alternates between Portland, Oregon, and another city each year.

The Canadian Animal Law Conference
Canada’s annual animal law conference is presented by Animal Justice and Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law.

Taking Action for Animals
Hosted by the Humane Society of the United States, TAFA brings together a diverse array of advocates for a full weekend of presentations, workshops and training sessions. Both newcomers and seasoned advocates alike can find something to learn, and the event usually includes a “Lobby Day” of hands-on engagement on Capitol Hill. It takes place biennially in Washington D.C.

Animal Law Events
A resource for Animal Law events happening all over the world curated by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Animal Law Research

Animal Studies: Law, Welfare, and Rights

Animal Studies: Law, Welfare, and Rights consists of more than 650 titles and nearly 300,000 pages related to animal law, this collection is an indispensable addition to your curriculum. Animal Studies: Law, Welfare, and Rights aims to establish the foundational laws pertaining to animals and follow the evolution of these rights throughout the years. It includes everything from philosophical books published in the 1800’s to videos, periodicals, and brochures.

Animal Law: Cases and Materials

The fifth edition of Animal Law: Cases and Materials by Sonia Waisman, Pamela Frasch, and Bruce Wagman is in its simplest (and broadest) sense, a combination of statutory and decisional law in which the nature—legal, social, or biological—of non-human animals is an important factor. The fifth edition is updated significantly, while continuing to present a cohesive format that touches on many areas in which animals affect legal doctrines, case law, and legislative direction. Because animal law is not a traditional legal field, the book is largely framed according to traditional legal headings such as tort, contract, criminal and constitutional law. Each chapter sets out cases and commentary where animal law continues to develop its own doctrine. An important chapter on the commercial use of animals, introduced in the third edition, has been further updated with recent cases and statutory developments covering the significant areas of agriculture and biomedical research.”

International Issues in Animal Law

Issues in Animal Law: The Impact of International Environmental and Economic Law upon Animal Interest and Advocacy by Peter L. Fitzgerald addresses the interests of non-human animals in an era of globalization requires consideration of a wide range of international influences upon domestic case law, policy, and legal doctrine. International agreements and decisions affect much more than simple cross-border transactions in animals or animal-related products and can also impact what individual countries may or may not do internally to address animal cruelty, health, consumer protection interests, cultural preservation, conservation, species preservation, and a host of other issues in their national laws and regulations.

Wildlife Law: Cases and Materials

Wildlife Law: Cases and Materials by Eric T. Freyfogle and Dale D. Goble is a law school casebook that draws liberally upon the subject’s rich history in law and culture. Without that history, there can be no firm understanding of the subject. Second, animals are living entities, organized into shifting, complex ecological systems; from the first page, biology plays a critical role in the story. Third, moral sentiments and ethical values have expanded to attend to the plight of particular animals, to species, and to the healthy functioning of communities. Ethical concerns, too, appear as a key issue.

The Animal Law Podcast

Tune into The Animal Law Podcast to hear Professor Mariann Sullivan as she unpacks the latest updates, cases, and news from the burgeoning world of animal law. Mariann interviews leaders in the field, and offers her own insightful commentary.

Animal Law Committee

The American Bar Association TIPS Animal Law Committee addresses all issues concerning the intersection of animals and the law.

An Introduction to Animals and the Law

An Introduction to Animals and the Law by Joan Shaffner is an exploration of the newly emerging, diverse, and controversial area of animal law presents a basic survey of the laws designed to protect animals, analyzing and critiquing them, and proposing a future where the legal regime properly recognizes and protects the inherent worth of all animals.