Animals in the Wild, Animal Welfare and the Law

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Title Animals in the Wild, Animal Welfare and the Law
Author White, Steven William
Book Title Animal Law in Australasia: A New Dialogue
Editor Peter Sankoff & Steven White
Year Published 2009
Place of publication Sydney
Publisher The Federation Press
Abstract Unlike domesticated animals, which at common law are the absolute property of their owners, animals in the wild have no owner. In practice, some jurisdictions address this ownership 'gap' by vesting property in wild animals in the Crown. The first part of this chapter explores the nature of this claim to property in wild animals by the Crown, arguing that the claim may not be well-founded, and that it provides limited protection to, and does not prevent exploitation of, wild animals. Part II argues that animal welfare legislation fails in important ways to adequately protect the welfare of wild animals, with significant exemptions from the application of cruelty and other offences limiting the reach of such legislation. While nature conservation legislation is also relevant to the welfare of wild animals, it is limited by a focus on wild animal species as members of an ecosystem, rather than a focus on individual animal welfare. Part II seeks to demonstrate that, taken together, animal welfare and nature conservation legislation establishes a hierarchy of welfare protection, with endangered or rare native wild animals the most well-protected, and introduced wild animals the least well-protected. Part III then considers some justifications for a differential regulatory approach to the welfare of wild animals, including economic imperatives, environmentalism and issues of national identity. It is argued that none of these justifications adequately address the significance of sentiency, shared by all wild animals, and the ethical requirements sentiency demands.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Alternative URI
Chapter Number 10
Page from 230
Page to 258
ISBN 978 186287 719 1
Date Accessioned 2009-06-26
Language en_AU
Research Centre Socio-Legal Research Centre
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Law and Society
Publication Type Book Chapters
Publication Type Code b1

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