Is law applicable only to humans? What about protecting the rights of our furry friends? That’s where animal law comes in. A relatively new and exciting field, it is a perfect career path for animal lovers. Animal law involves fighting against cruelty towards animals, and promoting animal welfare, rights as well as policy development and research.
How it works
Animal law covers any issue involving “non-human animals”. India has some of the finest animal protection laws such as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. This law makes organizing or inciting animal fights; feeding poisonous food to stray animals; and maiming or injuring them, a criminal offence.
Non-profit organisations such as People for Ethical Treatment of Animals and World Wildlife Fund working for animal rights, employ animal lawyers. Environmental law also offers considerable scope for animal law practitioners to protect environmental and animal interests through conservation and protection of the habitat.
What to study
Unfortunately, there are not many animal law courses available in India. last year, the University of Hyderabad tied up with Barcelona University to start India’s first animal law centre. It offers a one-year distance education programme in Animal Protection law.
- National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, University of Hyderabad: One-year postgraduate diploma in Animal Protection law, with a few contact classes in the summer. What makes this course unique is that it is also open to students without a law background but with an interest in animal law.
- Harvard Law School, the U.S.: Courses in Animal Law are available to Master of Law (LLM) students. The institute also offers an Animal Law Policy Programme, which analyses the treatment of animals by the legal system.
- Standford University and University of California, Berkeley, the U.S.: Both the universities have courses in Animal Law taught by a well-known animal lawyer Bruce Wagman.
- Animal charities and fundraisers
- Environmental law
- Policy and research
- Legal drafting and research skills
- Creative thinking
- Communication skills
- Interest in animal welfare
- Argumentative skills
Picture Credit : Google