Animals and the Law
Animals and the Law examines the unique role that animals play as living property in a legal system conceived by and for human beings. On the one hand, animals are things that we buy, eat, and use in experiments. On the other, they are beloved family companions. The book traces the history of laws dealing with animals, from the animal trials which began in the thirteenth century in Europe, through the development of anti-cruelty laws, to the present struggle to cope with the conflicting implications of biotechnology and other industrial uses for animals, and, indeed, artificially created living things. Throughout, the book critically evaluates the present legal status of animals and asks us to consider whether animals should be viewed as objects, as legal subjects, as legal persons, or as something else entirely.
Lesli Bisgould has been a litigator in Ontario since 1992. She began in the field of civil litigation and then spent ten years in her own practice in animal rights law, the only practice of its kind in Canada. She has written and lectured widely on the subject of animal rights and the law and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, where she instructs a seminar entitled "Introduction to Animals and the Law"; She has argued at every level of court and deputed at every level of government. In recent years, her full-time work has been in the fields of poverty and human rights law. She is currently the barrister at Legal Aid Ontario's Clinic Resource Office where she assists caseworkers at Ontario’s community legal clinics with their appeals. All the opinions expressed in this book are those of the author alone and not those of Legal Aid Ontario or of the University of Toronto.