To help clients hold to account not only people who break the 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.
Advocates for Animals was born out of a variety of ideas and people that have helped shape the first and leading animal law firm.
Around 2005 David Thomas, a then in house solicitor at Cruelty Free International, had the groundbreaking idea of an animal law firm; after all why should animals go without legal representation or have the laws that are designed to protect them go unenforced? Over the years there was interest and conversations with others about the idea, which kept the dream alive, but it was when Edie Bowles joined him as a solicitor at Cruelty Free International in 2016 that Advocates for Animals started to take shape.
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. Edie used her entrepreneurial skills and business acumen to turn the idea of an animal law firm not only into a reality, but a successful business.
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
Advocates for Animals is the first UK law firm dedicated to animal protection. It is a not for profit set up by Edie Bowles and David Thomas, two solicitors with vast combined experience in animal protection law. 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.