University of Winchester launches new Centre for Animal Welfare

Centre-for-Animal-Welfare-The University of Winchester has opened a new Centre for Animal Welfare (CAW) which will undertake research, teaching and public engagement in the field of animal welfare.

An official opening of the Centre will take place on Saturday 21st May at the University’s West Downs campus. Entry is free, but attendees must register in advance. Click here to book now.

The University already offers a BA (Hons) Animal Welfare and Society undergraduate degree course, alongside a MSc Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law postgraduate course. For more information on these courses and the Centre generally, please click here.


Reviewing the 2016 Public Interest Environmental Law conference

IMG_4693In April, ALAW Student Officer, Edwina, and Student Coordinator, Sally, attended the Public Interest Environmental Law (PIEL) conference at Cass Business School.

The conference itself was well attended with a range of different professions, although mostly lawyers, there were also environmentalists, economists and journalists who naturally took an interest in the day and the subject matter.

The conference was titled  “Climate Talks After Paris: Beyond the Pledges” and explored the landscape for environmental law post the Paris Agreement, which was the result of the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC that took place in Paris in December 2015.

FullSizeRenderThe day provided insight from an impressive line up of speakers, from former UNFCCC Secretariat Kirsty Scheeberger to Head of Legal at Friends of the Earth, Gita Parihar. The event was finished off with a speech from Ned Westaway, PIEL’s founder, to mark PIEL’s 10 year anniversary.

Edwina and Sally set up an ALAW stall at the event to inform the attendees of the work we do. They had a lot of interest and we really hope this marks increased communication between the environmental and animal law community.

ALAW welcomes new trustee: Mike Radford, OBE LLB

ALAW is pleased to announce that Mike Radford, OBE LLB has joined our board of trustees.

Mike is Reader in Law at the University of Aberdeen. He established the first UK animal welfare law course in 1992, since when he has taught and lectured widely on the subject in addition to working extensively on the development of animal welfare law and policy with politicians, officials, veterinarians, NGOs, and other interested parties.

Mike is presently a trustee of Dogs Trust, the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, and OneKind; a member of the All Party Group on Animal Welfare; and a visiting lecturer at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Vet Schools.

He has previously been a member of the Companion Animal Welfare Council, the Dog Advisory Council, the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Board of the RCVS, a trustee of PDSA, Chairman of the Secretary of State’s Circus Working Group, and acted as ‘critical friend’ to Stephen Wooler in producing his report on RSPCA prosecutions. He was a founder member of both ALAW and the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association.

Mike was appointed OBE in 2008 for services to animal welfare law.  He lives in the Highlands with Janet, the remnants of a flock of pet sheep, and a succession of dogs rehomed from Dogs Trust.

APRIL 2016: see Mike Radford’s written and oral submissions to the EFRA Sub-Committee on animal welfare here.

ALAW pursues stronger sentencing in animal cruelty cases

We have received a number of enquiries from people concerned about inadequate sentencing in cases of animal cruelty.

As a legal charity concerned exclusively with animal welfare issues, we have raised concerns about the sentencing regime for animal cruelty cases to a Parliamentary Committee (The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Sub-Committee), which is currently examining domestic animal welfare provisions. Read more about the progress of the EFRA Sub-Committee here.

ALAW put in written submissions to the EFRA Sub-Committee. ALAW’s submissions focus exclusively on sentencing and we are aware that other groups have also raised this, amongst other general welfare issues. A copy of our submissions can be viewed via the following link:

You will see from the submissions that there has been some discussion in Parliament about the sentencing provisions for animal cruelty cases and Parliamentary Questions have been put to both a Minister for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and a Minister at the Ministry of Justice.

We are aware that there are a number of public petitions raising concern about the low level of sentences for animal cruelty cases. Petitions can be a good way of raising awareness of public concern with Government. If a petition gets 10,000 signatures the Government will respond and if it reaches 100,000 it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

EFRA Sub-Committee on animal welfare: domestic pets


The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Sub-Committee is currently holding a series of inquiries into animal welfare issues. Domestic pets including cats, dogs and horses are the initial focus of the Sub-Committee, with attention turning to exotic pets at a later date.

ALAW’s involvement:

ALAW has made written submissions to the Sub-Committee on the issue of leniency of sentences in animal cruelty cases. Those submissions can be read here.

ALAW trustee Mike Radford has also made submissions to the Sub-Committee, which can be read here.

Progress of the inquiries:

ALAW will follow closely the progress of the inquiries. Updates will be posted on this page and across our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

All written and oral evidence is available to view on the Parliament website here. Oral submissions are available in video format and can be found below.

Tuesday 12th April 2016: Oral Evidence to the EFRA Sub-Committee

Tuesday 19th April 2016: Oral Evidence to the EFRA Sub-Committee

Tuesday 10th May 2016: Oral Evidence to the EFRA Sub-Committee

Tuesday 14 June 2016: Oral Evidence to the EFRA Sub-Committee

Tuesday 28 June 2016: Oral Evidence to the EFRA Sub-Committee (AUDIO ONLY)

Tuesday 12th July 2016: Oral Evidence to the EFRA Sub-Committee

31st July 2016: The sub-committee has now concluded its inquiries and we are awaiting its report.

Animal Law LL.M. Scholarship Opportunity in the USA

Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, is offering the opportunity of a fully-funded LL.M. scholarship in Animal Law. The scholarship is open to international candidates who demonstrate extraordinary ability and potential in this field of law.

For more information, see below or email Natasha Dolezal at

More information about the Animal Law courses offered by Lewis and Clark Law School can be found here.



PIEL Conference 2016: Climate talks after Paris: Beyond the Pledges

ALAW members may be interested in attending the 10th annual conference by Public Interest Environmental Law (PIEL) UK on Friday 15th April at the Cass Business School, London.

The conference, titled “Climate talks after Paris: Beyond the Pledges”, boasts an extensive programme of highly-respected speakers covering a breadth of topics (see here). The programme includes a keynote speech by Ms Kirsty Schneeberger, an advisor at the Office of the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC and co-founder of Beautiful Corporations.

Ticket prices start from £5 for students. Tickets for non-student attendees are £30.

Tickets can be booked online here.


ALAW on BBC Radio 4- listen here!

ALAW’s Legal and Project Manager, Hannah Brown, has appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme “Natural Histories Live – The Big Story” where she spoke with Rory Bremner in front of a live audience at the Natural History Museum about recognising chimpanzees and other non-human animals as legal persons. The programme was broadcast on 23rd December at 8pm and on Christmas Day at 6am. You can listen to the programme on the Natural Histories Website, click here. Hannah is on at 43:00 minutes.

2015 essay competition winners announced

03 DECEMBER 2015

Natalie Kyneswood, who is studying an MSc in Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Bristol, has won this year’s ALAW student essay competition.

Natalie Kyneswood Grace Wright Emily Au
From left to right: Natalie Kyneswood, Grace Wright and Emily Au.

The contest saw law students from all over the world submit their answers to the question: “The Hunting Act 2004 has been a useless piece of legislation and therefore should be repealed.” Discuss.

The winning essay will be published in the ALAW journal.

Grace Wright, a BPTC student at BPP, took second place. The third runner up, Emily Au, is a third year Law student at the University of Exeter.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all that entered this year’s Student essay competition.

ALAW seminar on Undercover Investigations

ALAW is excited to present:


Fox-fur-farm-Photo-We-AnimalsThursday 29 October 2015 from 6 pm

The evening will feature:

  • Screening of the cinematic documentary “The Ghosts in our Machine”
  • An introduction to undercover investigations by Canadian investigative journalist and founder of We Animals Jo-Ann McArthur
  • Talk by Gavin Millar QC, barrister at Matrix Chambers, on the legalities surrounding undercover investigations

Exposing animal welfare abuses can be key to bettering animal welfare protection. Footage and evidence collected by undercover investigations are often used to convince empowered government authorities to act and, on occasion, ultimately prosecute. But how can undercover investigations be undertaken practically and in accordance with the law? This seminar will present a legal and practical perspective on the world of undercover investigations.

To attend please register at eventbrite here.

Photo credit: Jo-Ann McArthur

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