Prior to the introduction of the Animal Welfare Act in 2006, animal welfare law was largely reactive and action could only be taken once an animal had already suffered. The Act focused on prevention and introduced welfare offence for the first time. It was the first review of pet law in ninety-four years; replacing the 1911 Protection of Animals Act and superseding more than twenty other pieces of legislation...Read More
Inspired by badly behaved boyfriends and a general disillusionment in mankind, several friends and I recently drunkenly devised a hypothetical ‘man-farm’ in which women reared men in specially constructed enclosures and harvested their sperm. I’d like to interject before launching into the specifics of our vision that our conversation isn’t usually quite as sinister and bizarre (although it is far too frequently fuelled by gin), and that none of us are of the militant feminist type...Read More
The concept of legislation to guard animals’ ‘welfare’ is a particularly new one. Historically, legislation was only passed with regards to mistreating animals publicly, in order to protect the public from witnessing cruel behaviour. Increasingly, however, there has been a move away from legislation with an emphasis on animal cruelty towards protection of animals for their own sake as sentient beings. The development of the new societal welfare ethic...Read More
I slept my way through the majority of my first term at university. After years of fantasising about being a vet student and all the glamour of slicing and dicing up dogs and horses and getting elbow-deep in surgeries; saving lives and lounging around in scrubs, it was a bit of a shock to find myself stuck in a darkened lecture theatre with a hundred other dozing, hungover students trying to memorise complicated biochemical reactions and protein transport mechanisms. Our first two years were taught from proteins up. It took a whole two years before we graduated into considering the animal as a whole, and that was after a lot of lectures, exams and hours spent in the library studying cells, genes, proteins and even molecules. It was a revelation to discover I had to have a working knowledge of neurones, nerve bundles and then the entire physiology of the nervous system before I was even allowed to contemplate the definition of ‘pain’...Read More
I stumbled across this website whilst doing some research for a forthcoming post and felt compelled to share it! Animal Ethics Dilemma is a really interesting interactive resource created by a group of senior veterinary lecturers from various European institutions. The programme is primarily aimed at veterinary students but is free and accessible to anyone.
Animal Ethics Dilemma lets you learn about your own standpoint on animal ethics, by providing a computerised role-play game involving a number of case studies which you answer questions on. It also explains the tenets of several different ethical viewpoints: contractarian, utilitarian, relational, animal rights, and respect for nature, which are expertly explained.
I’d love to see more case studies added to the six currently listed, but so far its a really interesting resource to explore and use to reflect on your personal standpoint.