Thursday, August 28, 2014

Animals and the law

Cow sculpture in the garden at Bear Cottage.

Later this year Voiceless will be hosting the Australian-New Zealand Intervarsity Moot on Animal Law (cleverly named so it can be abbreviated thus: ANIMAL).
The aim is to provide law students with the chance to develop knowledge in animal law while honing their written oral and advocacy skills.

ANIMAL is open to all Australian and New Zealand law students. It will be held at Bond University over the weekend of 18-19 October. Individuals and teams are invited to register. Questions and facts will be released one month before, at 9am on 15 September. Written submissions must be emailed on October 17.

You can view the draft program here.

The program includes optional question and answer forums with senior animal law academics and panel discussions with legal experts in the field.

If you aren’t a law student you can still attend as a spectator. Contact the organisers for more information.

Speaking of the law

Newspapers have seized onthe story that a vomiting cat was the reason a footballer got off lighter thanhe could have for a speeding charge. There’s a lot of speculation as to whether this was a legit or “dog-ate-my-homework” kind of excuse (though I am here to tell you that dogs DO, occasionally, eat homework – as well as the odd mobile phone)(and if you’ve not experienced a vomiting cat before, feline emesis can be dramatic and terrifying).

But before you think that the animal-in-distress excuse works, one of my clients had a French bulldog who actually went into anaphylaxis on a freeway and the judge wasn’t lenient at all.

Do professional associations matter?

Professional associations, those organisations we pay fees to, play different roles. This month the Australian Veterinary Association is one professional organisation participating in the “Associations Matter” study.

It’s a chance to provide feedback about what the organisation is doing well and what could be done better. We’re a big fan of professional associations here for a range of reasons including advocacy and ethics, but an association is only as strong as its membership and can really only help if we provide specific feedback.