This seminar will explore historical, existing, and evolving law relating to nonhuman animals, with a particular focus on recent changes that affect the legal relationship between people and their companion animals. The animal issues addressed will span a wide range of legal territory, including torts, property, family law, estates and trusts, criminal law, and other state and federal statutes. The seminar will also include discussions of ethical principles and scientific knowledge that inform many of the ongoing changes in animal law. Specific topics to be explored will include the debates between animal welfare and animal rights; the property status of animals: historical perspective and proposed changes; damages for harm to pets; pet custody (including lost and found animal disputes); enhancement of anti-cruelty laws; legislative recognition of the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty; owners’ duty to provide veterinary care; health care decision-making for companion animals; estate planning and enforceable trusts for the care of pets; and companion animals and housing. There will also be some attention to issues affecting farm animals, including the regulation of farming practices.
Students will be required to complete a substantial research paper on an emerging topic in animal law, which may be used to satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement. Students will also be required to present their papers to the class and to contribute to in-class and on-line discussions.
Current & Previous Instructors:
|This course is not currently scheduled.|