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Update from Advocates for Animals and The Animal Law Foundation

29 November 2022

Following the launch of The Animal Law Foundation, we think it is important to explain how the new charity will work, particularly in relation to Advocates for Animals and Advocates for Animals’ much valued clients.

Advocates for Animals is so proud of all the work it does with its clients and would like to provide reassurance that this work and service will remain entirely unaffected, save for perhaps being bolstered by another animal law entity with a new pool of expertise.

How The Animal law Foundation started

Through the work conducted at the law firm Advocates for Animals, it has become apparent that the laws that are passed through Parliament are grossly under-enforced in practice, rendering the value of those laws questionable at best and redundant at worst. Following this realisation, a new venture was required to monitor the implementation and enforcement of animal law. Having secured some funding and actively seeking additional support, The Animal Law Foundation will research neglected areas of animal law and where appropriate instruct solicitors to bring challenges to ensure that any system in place to protect animals, functions as it should.

The UK still has some of the best animal welfare laws in the world, yet the opportunity for vast improvements contained within these laws is rarely explored. Through exploring these opportunities, the whole system for animals can be improved and set global examples.

For its first groundbreaking project, it has co-authored and published a report with Animal Equality UK called The Enforcement Problem, which explores the issues surrounding the enforcement of farmed animal welfare laws. The findings include:

  • Fewer than 3% of UK farms were inspected (2.95%)

  • Upon receiving a complaint, just half (50.45%) of farms were then inspected

  • Of those inspections, approximately one-third (31.38%) identified non-compliance on the same site

  • Just 0.33% of farms were prosecuted following initial complaints of non-compliance

The report received coverage in The Guardian and The Mirror and can be found here:

How the relationship will work with Advocates for Animals and its clients

Advocates for Animals remains a professional law firm that works with its clients to assist with animal protection issues. In the event The Animal Law Foundation identifies a legal challenge, The Animal Law Foundation may become a client of Advocates for Animals.

The Animal Law Foundation will not duplicate the legal work Advocates for Animals does for its clients, but rather it will explore neglected areas.

It is of vital importance that the laws that exist to protect animals are understood and applied.

“Despite their sentience and all the incredible attributes animals possess, they are extremely vulnerable in our society, both at the hands of commercial interests and the sadistic. It is therefore essential that a framework is in place to prevent certain treatment. You do not have to be an animal lover or an activist in this area to recognise that animals deserve protection under the law and that those laws need to be enforced. How can we justify the proclamation that we are a nation of animal lovers and that we have some of the highest animal welfare standards on farms and slaughterhouses in the world, if these standards only exist on paper?”

Edie Bowles

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