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Animal Law - JURD7494
 Law Books

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: Academic Program must be either 9200, 9210, 5740 or 9230
Excluded: LAWS8194
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


Animal law may be briefly defined as the statutory and case law in which the nature - legal, social or biological - of nonhuman animals is an important factor. After examining a current high profile animal issue, the live export of animals from Australia, the course looks at the context for animal law: modern and past ethics and jurisprudence on the way that humans think of and treat animals. The course looks at major topics in black letter law: animals as property and the implications of treating them as property; standing to represent the interest of animals; protection from cruelty; companion animal law; the liability of owners and keepers of animals; laws relating to agriculture; ethics, ethical guidelines and law of using animals for research; wild animals, wildlife animal and threatened species law, and game and hunting law; and the regulation of veterinarians.

LLM Specialisations

Corporate, Commercial and Taxation Law; Human Rights and Social Justice.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

The course aims to give students a good grounding in black letter animal law, as informed by philosophy, jurisprudence and history. Students will be exposed to a broad range of viewpoints on the many contentious subjects raised in the course. The discipline is in its infancy, even more so in Australia, and an open and enquiring approach will be encouraged.

Main Topics

  • A recent contentious animal issue: the live export of animals
  • Similarities and differences between humans and nonhuman animals and the ethics of animal treatment
  • The work of theorists
  • The religious, Western classical period, medieval and enlightenment thinking
  • The implications from the historically derived practice of classifying animals as property
  • Protection from cruelty
  • Companion animal law
  • The ethics, ethical guidelines and law of using animals for research
  • Animals in the wild, wildlife animal and threatened species law
  • The regulation of veterinarians


Class participation 15%
Research essay or project 85%

Course Texts

The only required texts are the Course Materials. Because of the intensive nature of the course, students will be expected to have read the first half of the readings for the course before turning up for the first day.

Refer to Course Materials.


Refer to Course Materials.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.