Bond University



Since 2013, I have offered a course at the University of Otago’s Faculty of Law entitled ‘Animals and the Law’. Given New Zealand’s reliance upon agriculture, and the fact it can lay claim to ‘leading the way’ with regards to animal welfare, it is perhaps surprising that it is currently the only course focusing on Animal Law offered at any of New Zealand’s six law schools. I am not, however, a trailblazer. Until he left for the University of Alberta in 2010, Professor Peter Sankoff offered such a course at the University of Auckland, and Dr Ian Robertson has offered a course intermittently at the University of Auckland and University of Canterbury. Despite those precedents, however, I designed my course from ‘scratch’. In this short paper, I will describe the structure of the course and explain my reasoning for the content I have included in the course. There is value in sharing syllabus materials and outlining one approach to a subject with many different entry points, and it is my hope that such an account may assist other Australasian legal academics if and when they decide to create their own courses on this important and burgeoning subject.