In October 2017 Lincoln Law School hosted the first annual Animal Welfare and International Law Seminar. This was presented jointly by the Regional African Law and Human Security Programme (RALHUS) at the University of the Western Cape, and Lincoln Law School’s Centre for Environmental Law and Justice, and attracted leading scholars from Europe, Australia and Africa.
The increasing recognition of the moral and legal significance of animals has given rise to scholarly discourse on the manner in which law should protect animals. The entanglement of animal interests with transnational issues such as global environmental protection, the transboundary movement of species, and the potential trade consequences of animal welfare measures in the context of comprehensive trade regimes indicate that animal welfare has implications for international law. It is particularly in the field of international wildlife law that the need exists to develop a corpus of rules that focuses on animal welfare.
The seminar sought to determine how international law, in particular international wildlife law, may respond to the increasing recognition of animal interests, and to support a broader and ongoing conversation around the creation of norms of animal welfare in international law. The Law School is already looking forward to building on the event’s success by developing our partnership with RALHUS, and further exploring the connections between animal welfare and ecological law and governance. The next Animal Welfare and International Law Seminar is due to take place in October 2018.