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Judicial Recognition of the Interests of Animals – A new Tort


AUTHOR: David Favre
TITLE: Judicial Recognition of the Interests of Animals – A new Tort

PUBLICATION PLACE: Michigan State law Review, vol.2005 p.333-367
Reproduced with express authorization of the author in: dA web Center, February 2010

Professor Favre examines how the legal system should deal with the claims of animals for protection against harm inflicted by humans. He looks at the concept of animal “interests”, their right to exist a protected environment and the various legal response mechanisms currently available to protect the rights of domestic animals and how they could be improved. The article illustrates by use of several hypothetical examples of “torts”– injustices - the current rights provided them within the current legal framework and how they protect their interests, irrespective of their status as property. He argues that although there currently exists a mechanism to protect the interest of animals, it is limited and in order for it to go further, greater public attention should be attracted to it. He concludes that by doing so, society would be able to fulfil its moral obligations to the domestic animals in its midst.


Tort (injustice), animal interests, legal rights for animals, animals as property, dealing with conflict, paradigm shift, ethical balance, moral obligations.

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