Animal Rights
vs Animal Welfare


Council of State Governments Resolution on Animal Guardianship and Liability Legislation

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Animal Liability and Guardianship ation
For thousands of years, animals have been integral to society, both as workers and as domesticated companions. Since the founding of the United States of America and the establishment of American jurisprudence, the laws governing animal ownership and animal care have been remarkably consistent, creating a stable legal system that promotes responsible animal ownership, deters animal abuse, and promotes innovative, affordable, and quality animal care. This legal balance is now being threatened by a handful of personal injury lawyers and some animal rights activists pushing a private agenda. They want to change well-established law and allow animal owners to collect emotional harm damages in animal injury cases. They also want local and state governments to re-classify animal ownership as animal guardianship. Both changes, while packaged as pro-animal, will be harmful to animal welfare in this country.

AVMA Policy: Owner vs Guardian

Ten point list in opposition to Guardianship

AVMA. November 2005. Pet owner or guardian? Animal Health Institute

Ownership of Animals vs Guardianship of Animals. American Veterinary Law Association White Paper

High Noon for Animal Rights Law: The Coming Showdown Between Pet Owners and Guardians

Guarding the Guard Dogs. Are you a dog owner or a dog guardian? Jon Katz. Slate Magazine.

Missouri Veterinary Medical Association - The Truth About Pet Guardianship.

Opinion - Dog "Owner" vs "Guardian" - Words Matter . Published in The APDT Chronicle of the Dog - March/April 2009


Animal law can be divided into Animal Welfare Law and Animal Rights Law.

Animal Welfare Law confers benefits upon nonhuman animals indirectly, based on their relationship to a human being. In short, the law views them only through their ward or as being owned by a human. Without the tether to you or me, animals have the functional status of waste. However, animal cruelty laws protect most animals, in certain contexts, regardless of their designation as owned.

Animal Rights Law recognizes protection, entitlements, and standing for the animal based on the animal's inherent dignitary interests as a sentient being that may suffer, reason or find "completeness" or "satisfaction" in "freely" pursuing its instinctual and filial imperatives. Animal rights law, thus, attempts to vindicate the interests of the animal based on principles that may be said to "inhere" within, rather than manifest from without (through human agency). Animals Voice. Adam P. Karp, Esq., Animal Law

Higher Ed Going Ape Over Animal Rights Courses There is a thick, high legal wall that has been put up over hundreds of years with non-human animals on one side of it... The goal of animal law courses is to knock down that wall. Once that wall is breached, the question becomes, what non-human animals should be entitled to what rights?

AAMC Reporter: Personhood Redefined: Animal Rights Strategy Gets at the Essence of Being Human

Monkey Trial: Redefining a Jury of Their Peers
"This is going to be a very important case", said William A. Reppy Jr., a Duke University law professor.
Note: this article was written in 1999 and states there are about a dozen law schools teaching animal law. Today that number exceeds 100.

JAVMA March 2005. Now it's the lawyer's turn Guest speaker Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, put it succinctly. "We are in the midst of a struggle over the ideas of the place of animals in society," Pacelle said.

Christian Science Monitor June 27, 2008. Spain to grant some human rights to apes

Wesley J. Smith. Granting apes rights will only devalue human life

The Animal Council. Property Status of Animals

Duke Law. Law and Contemporary Problems. FOREWORD ANIMAL LAW: THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE by Jeff Welty
Over the past decade, animal law has seen remarkable growth. Major animal advocacy groups like the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Farm Sanctuary, and others have ramped up their litigation efforts.

Animal Rights on the March How animal rightists are bringing new meaning to the pledge "with liberty and justice for all." Washington, watch out. by Paul Starobin. National Journal Magazine. Saturday, May 22, 2010

NPR. The Future of Nonhuman Rights Part 1 Championing Life And Liberty For Animals

NPR. The Future of Nonhuman Rights Part 2 Recognizing The Right Of Plants To Evolve