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Law plays a substantial role in the ways in which our society relates to animals. As our society increasingly accepts that the protection of animals from cruelty and other forms of mistreatment is important, the study of legal matters relating to animals – ie animal law – is important.

This course looks at the ethics and jurisprudence on the way humans think of and treat animals, the historical and present legal status of animals, the law underpinning our approach to animal welfare, standing to represent the interest of animals, and the laws and codes of practice relating to the use of animals for food, research, and entertainment.

Main Topics

  • People and animals, ethics, history, law, and society
  • The legal classification of animals as property and the implication of treating them as property
  • Anti-cruelty law
  • The regulation of the use of animals for food and entertainment, including the horse racing industry
  • Ethical guidelines and laws relating to the use of animals for research
  • Live export
  • Animals in the wild
  • Companion animal laws
  • Free trade constraints on animal welfare standards; and
  • Animal Law, an international perspective.
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 3



Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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