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LAWS13-538: Animal Law


Animal Law is an elective subject in undergraduate programs offered by the Faculty of Law. Students enrolled in this subject will examine the ethical and legal issues arising out of the commercial use of animals and animal products. The subject introduces a range of practical and theoretical perspectives on the way in which we think about animals, with a focus on legal regulation animal industries and ethical theories of animal rights. Some of the key topics covered in the subject include Scientific Experimentation and Biotechnology, Intensive Farming Practices, Animals in the Entertainment Industry (Circuses, Rodeos and Television), Wildlife Protection and Endangered Species, Indigenous Approaches to Animal Welfare, Companion Animals, and Agribusiness (Environmental Regulation, Husbandry Practices, Road Transport, Feedlots, and Live Export). Attention will also be given to international developments and students will explore practical ways in which lawyers may advance the interests of animals.

Subject details

FacultyFaculty of Law
Study areas
  • Law
Subject fees
  • Commencing in 2021: $3,890

Learning outcomes

1. Understand and be able to describe various philosophical theories underpinning the relationship between humans and animals. 2. Understand the legal status of animals and the historical development of animal law generally. 3. Understand and be able to critically analyse the welfare model of animal welfare. 4. Understand and be familiar with the regulatory regimes (legislation and industry codes of practice) that apply to different categories of animals in Australia. 5. Be able to engage in discussion regarding areas of potential legal reform in the animal welfare sphere and the role that lawyers can play in any potential reform.

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Assumed knowledge:

Assumed knowledge is the minimum level of knowledge of a subject area that students are assumed to have acquired through previous study. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they meet the assumed knowledge expectations of the subject. Students who do not possess this prior knowledge are strongly recommended against enrolling and do so at their own risk. No concessions will be made for students’ lack of prior knowledge.

Assumed Prior Learning (or equivalent):

Restrictions: ?

Students must be admitted into a Bachelor law degree or Bachelor of Laws combined degree or be an approved Law Study Abroad OR Law exchange student.

This subject is not available as a general elective. To be eligible for enrolment, the subject must be specified in the students’ program structure.

Subject outlines

Subject dates

Future offerings not yet planned.