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Lawyers for Animals


Lawyers for Animals

This is a group for lawyers working in animal rights and interested parties to share experience in their work to obtain better conditions for animals.

Members: 12
Latest Activity: Nov 21, 2016

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Comment by Maynard S. Clark on November 10, 2012 at 1:34

Are there any real, practicing lawyers on this list?  How about pre-law students?  How about ethicists involved with legal ethics or bioethics or the ethical issues lawyers interested in animal rights would need to study?

Comment by Thäran sXeVegan on November 10, 2012 at 0:46

Hey Kerry, sorry didn't get notified for this, maybe needed to refresh the tab. Now my internet is mostly down anyhow. I meant Los Angeles passed that law. Nothing in my country for even veganism really (there's a religious group and a sexist plant-based sect - more or less), there's BUAV campaigning for Mauritius to stop breeding and exporting monkeys to labs worldwide.

I'm trying to get familiar with the anti-vivisection science and trying to share what I find with scientists I know currently, will keep looking for those and for lawyers. We need to start where we can and set precedence that can be used in other countries maybe?

Keep us posted on the case you mention.

Comment by Kerry Baker on November 9, 2012 at 18:19

As it happens, a journalist was at the County Court and obtained the footage of the attack which was posted on the newspaper website today. I have put the link below.

Here is the dilemma. What will be an appropriate legal penalty for what these young men have done?  By all accounts they come from broken homes, are very much disliked within their small community, the main one being the older of the two brothers who has been described as a 'sociopath'.  Sending him to prison would only probably make him worse.

And yet the animals deserve recognition that they are entitled to be treated with respect and kindness.  I'm interested to know what your thoughts are regarding what legal penalties are appropriate for animal cruelty cases.

A warning, this footage is disturbing.

Comment by Kerry Baker on November 7, 2012 at 21:04

Hi.  Well I went along to the County Court today to support those who were appealing the lenient sentence of the three who tortured a kangaroo joey to death.

The three were 18, 22 and 22 years of age at the time, two of them brothers. They come from Tallarook, a rural town jut over 100 kms north of Melbourne with a small population, maybe 300.

The story was that on the day in question, two of them were driving along and stooped along a road to let their dog out to chase rabbits. The dog found a joey, which was approx 25% grown or just over knee height. They took the joey and put in the boot of the car then drove to a car wash where they rang another couple of friends, saying they were going to release the joey along a main road. They drove to another site, released the joey who nearly got hit by a car, then chased it and caught it and put it back in the boot. They then drove to a park, where they took it out and started to torment it, photographing themselves with the joey and a can of beer hat sort of thing. Kangaroos have a very low stress tolerance, and the joey had been by this time chased and stuffed into a boot and so on. Then one of the youths ran towards the joey, by this stage still and standing in fear, and with steel capped boots on kicked the joey in the head so hard it was raised off the ground and landed on its side where it stayed hurt. It was kicked in the head again, then one of them picked it up by a leg and swung it against a tree and smashed its head against the trunk. They disposed of the body by putting in grass alongside a road.

One of them had filmed this on a mobile phone and they posted photos on Facebook. The Judge appeared quite shaken after they showed the mobile phone footage. In the original court hearing each had avoided conviction, but two told to pay $850 to the Court charity fund and the other $2500. The Director of Public Prosecutions were appealing this as too lenient.

The main defence today seemed to be that they have been victimised since the incident and are 'remorseful' and so on, none of which really sounds likely.

The sentencing will be on 21st November, so I will let you know what happens. I hope it will succeed and help strengthen animal rights in law.

Comment by Kerry Baker on November 6, 2012 at 20:17

Very happy to see this group attracting members (-:

I thought I might post a couple of links to websites for what's happening here in Australia in the legal profession that might be of interest. While this tends to be welfarist rather than abolitionist, the legal arguments do tend to be about recognising animals as sentient beings who are capable of the same suffering as humans.  The links included in these sites will show what's happening here in Oz. We are very far behind the USA and Europe however in recognising animal rights in law, with only in the past year or so that a few of our universities have included subjects in animal rights law in legal studies.  I must acknowledge here that it was a wonderful vegan US lawyer, Bruce A. Wagman in San Francisco, whose talk for one of the Voiceless law lectures here several years ago turned me vegan and raised my interest in how through law we can improve things for non-human individuals.

For interest check these sites and it would be interesting to hear from others what's happening in animal rights law in other countries.

Lawyers for Animals

Barristers Animal Welfare Panel

Comment by Kerry Baker on November 5, 2012 at 16:53

Hi guys.  I thought you may be interested to know that there will be a landmark animal rights case heard this Wednesday in the Melbourne County Court.  The press release FYI:


The much anticipated landmark appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions against the lenient sentences received by 3 Victorian men who pleaded guilty to torturing and kicking a joey kangaroo to death while filming themselves will be heard.

ASK has been working with lawyer Daniel Beecher on submitting a Victim Impact Statement on behalf of the joey and our members and supporters. If accepted by the judge this will be a first for our wildlife and could be a major breakthrough in animal law.  It also has the potential to bring greater justice for future kangaroo cruelty cases.

As Daniel said yesterday “I'm very interested to see if the VIS is accepted by the County Court, as our work in this regard seems to be ground-breaking”.

I'll try to get along but will let you know what happens. The ASK website is at:


If the link doesn't work just Google Australian Society for Kangaroos. I'm about to take over the secretariat function for them as they are so busy all the time.  The latest newsletter sent out today attached which has disturbing, but not surprising, information coming out of the Canberra slaughter. 

Comment by Kerry Baker on November 2, 2012 at 7:27

Thanks sXe.  I had considered entering law but at my age (58) feel that probably not worth it now. But I do support friends who are lawyers who work in animal rights. There are a couple of groups here, Lawyers for Animals and Barristers Animal Welfare Panel who do some good things. We haven't yet banned the mills, and it is upsetting to see the pet shops holding all these little individuals. Perhaps though you can see if there is a similar animal rights lawyer group in Mauritius and help them out? Let me know if you do as I'm interested to know where lawyers are working for animals and I'd assume if they have banned mills in your home then there must be lawyers who have an interest in animal rights. Cheers.

Comment by Thäran sXeVegan on November 2, 2012 at 0:45

I'm not a lawyer too, sadly, and moving from Cape Town to Mauritius after 10yrs The new law passed in LA yesterday to ban puppy/kitty/bunny mills proves how critical it is to change the laws as we can as we go on fighting for animal rights. It'd be great to discuss ideas etc.

Comment by Kerry Baker on May 10, 2012 at 19:19

I am not a lawyer, but am involved helping a couple of groups here in Melbourne that are involved with animal rights.  While it has been slow, several of our top universities have begun to add animal law in their law courses.  This is an area that will continue to be critical in our fight to obtain better conditions and rights for animals.  I will welcome others to join and hope to share what's happening around other countries to help the cause.


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