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To help clients hold to account not only people who break  animal protection law but also governments and other bodies charged with enforcing it.


To live in a world where animals are protected by philosophically consistent laws which are regulated and enforced effectively.

The UK's First Animal Law Firm

Our Story

Advocates for Animals is the first UK law firm dedicated to animal protection. It is a not for profit founded by Edie Bowles and David Thomas, two solicitors with vast combined experience in animal protection law.

Advocates for Animals was borne out of a variety of ideas and people that have helped shape the first and leading UK animal law firm.


Around 2005 David Thomas, a then in house solicitor at Cruelty Free International, thought about the possibility of a law firm specialising in animal law, but despite interest and conversations with others about setting something up, it was only when Edie Bowles joined him as a solicitor at Cruelty Free International in 2016 that the wheels were put in motion and the concept of a law firm took shape and became a reality.


After many discussions between the two recognising the desperate need and the growing interest from the animal protection community, they finally decided to take that leap of faith. With a strong vision of how to build and operate an animal law firm, as Managing Director, Edie has turned the idea of an animal law firm not only into a reality, but into a successful and dynamic organisation offering a range of services. After all, why should animals go without legal representation or have the laws that are designed to protect them go unenforced?


From fruition, Advocates for Animals has also been blessed with a committed team that goes above and beyond every day to help our clients and animals.


A combination of good timing, unparalleled expertise, and unrelenting passion for animal protection, has ensured that Advocates for Animals has been established as the leading firm for anyone who needs specialist legal assistance to protect animals.


However, above all of this is the role our clients have played in forming Advocates for Animals. From established animal groups to lone activists, we have been truly humbled by the great work each of our clients do to protect animals. Without their work, commitment and continuing support, Advocates for Animals would not exist. It is an honour to be able to assist them with legal tools to further their objectives and help animals in need.


A short history of animal cruelty

Before 1822 in this country – as in many countries around the world still – there was no law to protect animals. A man could beat his horse to death simply because it was his. The supervening two centuries have seen a large swathe of animal protection legislation, some of it very good.


But there is indisputably far more cruelty caused to animals by human beings today than two hundred years ago. Attitudes are generally more enlightened, and there is less domestic cruelty, but technological developments mean that we can do things to animals today that we could not hitherto – in factory farms (where literally billions languish), in laboratories and so forth, far from public gaze. Millions of animals are transported as cargo across the world for various purposes. It is therefore essential that animal protection NGOs make maximum use of the tools at their disposal, as environmental groups and many social justice organisations already do very effectively.



Advocates for Animals is committed to the creative use of the law – alongside investigations, science, lobbying, social and traditional media – to make a huge difference to the lives of animals. Advocates for Animals will not act against an animal group or an animal activist unless the matter involves an animal protection issue.

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