Cattle v the Crown: is there a place for the Commonwealth as animal welfare guardian?


Walker-Munro, Brendan. 2015. "Cattle v the Crown: is there a place for the Commonwealth as animal welfare guardian?" University of Queensland Law Journal. 34 (2), pp. 363-391.
Article Title

Cattle v the Crown: is there a place for the Commonwealth as animal welfare guardian?

ERA Journal ID33967
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorWalker-Munro, Brendan
Journal TitleUniversity of Queensland Law Journal
Journal Citation34 (2), pp. 363-391
Number of Pages29
PublisherThe University of Queensland Press
Place of PublicationSt Lucia, Australia
Web Address (URL)

We rely on animals for the provision of foodstuffs, material goods, domestic and commercial labour, and medical and cosmetic experimentation. Yet despite the many
obvious ways that animals interact with the human sphere there is little to no regulation of animal welfare or their interests at the Commonwealth level. As our population
grows so too does the economic and social value of animals – in the words of Andrew Thelander back in 1991 ‘animals have already contributed more to [Australia] than all
the breweries and football teams put together’.

This paper will seek to examine whether there is a need for a Commonwealth guardianship framework for animal welfare. It will examine the current tensions in the existing framework between international, national and State laws, as well as conduct a comparative analysis of the cases for and against federalist intervention. It will then be
proposed that the current situation requires Commonwealth intervention to establish a guardianship model of animal welfare law based on internationally and socially
recognised principles, with a concomitant expansion of the rules of standing enabling representation of animals before the Courts by litigation guardians, in a similar model
to that used for children and the mentally ill.

Keywordsanimal welfare; Commonwealth; guardianship
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020489999. Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
480499. Law in context not elsewhere classified
300306. Animal welfare
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Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Justice, New South Wales
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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