This Introduction provides an overview of the evolution of animal law over the past twenty years, demonstrating how changes in the law, social awareness, and legal education have directly affected this field. This Introduction describes both the positive and negative changes that have taken place, from the banning of dogfighting and cockfighting by federal law and some state laws; a spread in voter-adopted legislation providing for the protection of agricultural animals; and movements to reduce the use of chimpanzees in animal research; to the limitations of the Animal Welfare Act; changes in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy lifting the ban on USDA inspection of horsemeat; discrimination of certain breeds of dogs through breed-specific legislation; and the weakening of a number of federal laws providing protection to wildlife. This Introduction also provides an overview of case law, discussing attempts to achieve standing for animals and differing approaches in calculating damages for harm to pets. With respect to legal institutions, there has been an increasing presence of animal law sections within the American Bar Association and state bar associations. Animal law has also expanded within legal education. This is evidenced by the emergence of animal law conferences, publications in animal focused law reviews and textbooks, animal law courses at prestigious law schools, and full-time professors specializing in the area of animal law.
Twenty Years and Change,
Animal L. Rev.
Available at: https://lawcommons.lclark.edu/alr/vol20/iss1/3