Global Animal Law GAL Project for animals in the law
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A new concept

Animal Attorneys in every animal-related case (criminal, administrative and civil)
Visionary

Proposal
Create an “Animal Attorney in all animal-related cases” at local level. These privately nominated and officially chosen “Animal Attorneys” represent the animal’s interest in all kinds of cases against the animal’s owner – not just in criminal cases concerning animal mistreatment and minor breaches of animal legislation. These attorneys will also be active in administrative matters such as permits (e.g. for animal experiments with terms and conditions; on animal housing such as shelters, farms and slaughterhouses; permits for companion animal breeding; and on terms and conditions for bans on keeping companion, farm, wild, sports or laboratory animals). In civil cases they are involved in separation and divorce cases when companion animals are involved. This deals with finding the best place for the animal in terms of property and ownership when doubt arises after the separation (e.g. when an animal is bought from an animal shelter and kept under poor housing conditions or when an animal has been lost and found by a new person). In inheritance cases this “Animal Attorney” can support the judge (e.g. dealing with the issue of whether the executor enforces the animal-friendly will correctly).

 

More information
Idea behind this:
The question of how animal-friendly a court decision is, is not often brought up by the involved parties. This is something that is also often forgotten by the commissions that have to strike a balance between the animal owner’s interests and public interests. Animal attorneys bring the interest of the animal into the procedure and support the judges and commissions when decisions are due and fair.

Side effects:
By supporting the law enforcement officials on every level, the “Animal Attorney” stands for more transparency and for taking animal issues more seriously in public.

Alternatives:
If animal workers’ organizations are represented in commissions that support the office in the decision-making process, e.g. on animal testing, those representatives can have the right to appeal against the decision up to the high courts, even if they are in a minority in the commission.

References
Sources:
§ … Zurich Animal Welfare Act for the alternative commission’s solution

 

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Item information:
Level: District
Goal: Enforcement
Item: Give Animals a Voice

Contribution made by
AFG - 07.07.2014.


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