Global Journal of Animal Law
Current Issue (2014-01)
Global Journal of Animal Law
The third issue of Global Journal of Animal Law (GJAL) received four articles for reviewing. Unfortunately, only two were within the scope of GJAL. Furthermore, we were informed from Brazil about a petition filed to the European Court of Human Rights in protection par ricochet of the endangered Fin Whales which have been cruelly killed in Iceland. However, the petition was dismissed. Because of the tight timeframe for this issue we hope to receive a note of the argumentation to the next one.
The current issue is focusing on legislation and regulation in Australia, United States and Europe (specifically in Switzerland and UK) of animals used in research. Furthermore, Lewis & Clark Law School provides the readers their experience of developing education in the field of Animal Law.
Charlotte E. Blattner makes a comparison of the regulation of animals used in research (the 3R principles) and the legal protection of farm animals. Based on her findings, she provides specific proposals for the establishment of the 3R principles in farming. In this regard, the well-regulated provisions in Switzerland on refinement are considered as an exemplary model. Her main conclusion, based on the grounds of consistency, the principle of the avoidance of unnecessary animal suffering and the principle of proportionality is, that if replacement is the accepted legal imperative in research, there should be an even stronger imperative for replacement in farming.
Alexandra Whittaker examines the regulation of animal use in research in Australia. The main question in her research is whether the legislative model can adequately protect animal welfare, and to identify any system deficiencies that may lead to an adverse finding in this regard. She is using a comparative law model while focusing on the regulation in Europe, the UK and US jurisdictions. Her main conclusion is that Australia is not unique in facing problems; mainly the same issues are experienced overseas, or are in fact problems in animal law in general. In many cases these issues could be easily rectified if the forces for change were present. Generally in the article, where she is identifying deficiencies, she is also proposing suggestions for reform.
The GJAL is slowly taking its form. Yet, there is still a lot to be done to make it to a forum of scientific results and discussions. How we treat animals under the law is something we do also for coming generations. It is exciting to note that there is so much going on both in education and science, as in courts and advocacies around the globe.
The Editor Board is wishing all GJAL-readers an enjoyable read and a lovely summertime!
Anna Birgitta Wahlberg
During the last 50 years, the 3R principles (refinement, reduction and replacement) have evolved into the principal standard for the regulation of animals used in research, resulting in remarkable achievements by virtue of national legislation, appearance on governmental agendas, dedication of NGOs, and international cooperation.
By contrast, there is no equivalent obtainment in the regulatory realm concerning farm animals. Their legal protection is practically non-existent. The findings indicate that the extent of legal regulation is marked by conspicuous differences, depending on whether farm animals or research animals are addressed. The disparities in the level of protection amount to a perceptible discrimination that cannot be maintained since it lacks a reasonable justification. The extraction of the underlying rationale of 3R in research, namely animal sentience, followed by the widespread legal enshrinement of farm animal sentience, and the global adoption of the principle of unnecessary suffering arguably render an extension of the 3R principles to farm animals mandatory.
Based on these findings, specific proposals for the regulatory scope and density of the 3R principles in farming are established. First, relating to refinement in farming, elaborate rules on the breeding, raising, keeping, and slaughter of farm animals are presented. For this purpose, Switzerlandâ€™s well-regulated provisions on refinement are considered as an exemplary model. As a second step, reduction methods in farming are analyzed. Finally, under the aegis of the replacement test, the principle of proportionality is applied that necessitates a diligent balance of interests in qualitative terms. Replacement maintains a focal point on the contrasting juxtaposition of the situation for farm animals and 3R for research animals.
If replacement is the accepted legal imperative in research, there should be an even stronger imperative for replacement in farming. This conclusion suggests itself on the grounds of consistency, the principle of the avoidance of unnecessary animal suffering, as well as the principle of proportionality.