Animals, Equality and Democracy by Siobhan O’Sullivan (auth.)

By Siobhan O’Sullivan (auth.)

Animals, Equality and Democracy examines the constitution of animal safety laws and unearths that it really is deeply inequitable, with an inclination to favour these animals the group is probably to work out and have interaction with. Siobhan O'Sullivan argues that those inequities violate primary precept of justice and transparency.

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Sample text

In New South Wales, Agricultural Animals are not protected against the harm caused by exercise deficiency, whereas other categories of animals are. That might be fine for an Exhibited Rabbit, but what if that same rabbit suddenly finds herself in a fur farm? Cutting across interest protections in this way leaves unanswered questions. For example, do rabbits benefit from exercise or not? And, should the state protect a rabbit’s right to exercise? We aren’t able to answer either of those questions with reference to New South Wales’ anti-animal cruelty statutes because the answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ simultaneously.

In many Western countries there are good systems in place to protect the interests of young children, including free healthcare, child protection agencies that intervene in cases of abuse, and accessible education. While the protections afforded children are often imperfect, the fact that they exist, even though children could not use the political process themselves to establish the protections in the first place, suggests that not everyone who receives protection against harm in a liberal democracy must be able to act as their own political agent.

For an animal to be deemed ‘captive’ he/she must be maintained in a captive state, either by means of domestication or restraint. The animal must be held in that state for the purpose of deriving benefit and must also be the subject of regulation. Those animals that are not captive will be referred to as ‘free-living’. Free-living animals often have politicised lives to the extent that many types of human action and government policy impact on their habitat and them. 2 Let us now consider how nonhuman animals are routinely categorised and then codified into modern protective statutes.

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