This course is an introduction to the expanding law that regulates human treatment of animals. In scientific and medical research, legal limitations on the use of animals are of fundamental importance, intellectual as well as practical: they may limit what can be hoped from the biosciences. Similarly, the nature and extent of protection of animals in food production systems has a large economic importance and large consequence for human welfare and population growth. Internationally, differing treatments of these issues raise questions of free trade. Nationally and internationally, legal approaches to the treatment of undomesticated animals affect critical environmental and biodiversity concerns. The course will focus both on fundamental questions, including whether conceiving of rights for animals is appropriate, and on an understanding of the current legal and administrative devices through which the human relation with animals is regulated.
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