Animal Protection Law in Australia: Bound by History
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This chapter examines changing attitudes to the treatment of animals in nineteenth century Britain, tracing the effects of change through to the first British animal protection legislation in 1822, and beyond to the law of the Australian colonies. By the early part of the twentieth century a number of key facets of animal protection regulation were established: the adoption of the generic ‘no unnecessary suffering’ standard in assessing the extent of cruelty to animals allowed; the use of exemptions from the generic prohibition against cruelty; the imposition of duties to provide for the needs of an animal; and the establishment of one of the key institutional actors in the animal protection field, the RSPCA. As well, the Australian colonies faithfully reproduced an understanding of domesticated animals as personal property. Analysis of the development of animal protection law in Queensland provides a “representative sample” of the adoption of animal protection law in the States and Territories more broadly. In Queensland, as in other similar jurisdictions, the question remains whether the present day animal protection regulatory framework amounts, in essence, to a nineteenth century answer to twenty-first century concerns.
Animal Law and Welfare - International Perspectives
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Law and Society