Covid-19 and Capital: Labour Studies and Nonhuman Animals – A Roundtable Dialogue, 10(1) Animal Studies Journal 240-272 (2021) (together with Kendra Coulter, Dinesh Wadiwel & Eva Kasprzycka) (peer-reviewed)

Over its development, it has been made apparent that the COVID-19 crisis exacerbates pre-existing crises of class stratification and racial oppression. The pandemic has also exposed the profound interdependence of multiple forms of oppression and that exposure contained a kernel of radical hope. Leftists observed a silver lining during the societal ‘pause’ of a multi-nation lockdown, both for the climate and extinction crises, because those who weren’t entirely aware of animal agriculture and live animal markets’ capacity to pose serious public health risks became more so. In an article published in the Financial Times, environmental and political activist Arundhati Roy spoke prophetically of a portal opening onto a different future because ‘[h]istorically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew’. No one thought a virus would be the event to halt global industry and consumption; but with it came a surprising form of optimism. Now, over a year later, the virus’s amplification of existing social and economic inequalities has obscured sanguine anticipation of ‘a turn’ in social justice. In some parts of the world, life is now returning to ‘normal’; by which I mean the capitalist modes of production are continuing ‘business as usual’ and may even be accelerated –or even multiplied– to make up for lost time and profits. Reflecting on this past year, how have you thought about the politics of COVID-19 in light of your work on animal labour and animal labour movements?

Available open access here.

The Swiss Primate Case: How Courts Have Paved the Way for the First Direct Democratic Vote on Animal Rights, Transnational Environmental Law (TEL) 1-14 (2021) (together with Raffael Fasel) (peer-reviewed)

A citizens’ initiative was launched in 2016 in the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt, demanding that the rights catalogue in the Cantonal Constitution be complemented by a fundamental right to life and a right to bodily and mental integrity for non-human primates. This initiative became the subject of a three-year legal dispute that ended with a decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in September 2020, ruling that the initiative is legally valid and must be put to the people for a vote. This case note discusses the key developments in the dispute, including the groundbreaking decision by the Constitutional Court of Basel-Stadt, which held that cantons are free to ‘expand the circle of rights holders beyond the anthropological barrier’. The authors, who were involved in the drafting of the initiative and acted as legal advisers in the judicial proceedings, offer first-hand insights into legal strategies and shed light on the importance of the case in the context of the ongoing efforts to secure rights for primates around the world.

Available here.

Global Migration Crises, Non-human Animals, and the Role of Law, In: “Like an Animal”: Critical Animal Studies Approaches to Borders, Displacement, and Othering (Natalie Khazaal & Núria Almiron eds., Brill, Leiden) (peer-reviewed) (2021)

Traditionally, human and nonhuman animal migration were thought to occupy distinct and separate sociopolitical spheres of knowledge. We romanticize the migration of other animals, taking an overly naturalistic view of the journey of gray whales, caribou, or deer as they follow the change of seasons across international borders. But when we theorize about human migration, we tend to do so with worry and concern about displacement, persecution, safety, and the threat of mass movements. As a consequence, human and nonhuman animal migration are considered in separate categories, with different demographics and definitions, governed by wholly separate legal documents.

This chapter shows that the idea that human and nonhuman animal migration must be understood separately and in isolation from one another is rigorously put to the test by climate change. Whole populations of humans and other animals will be threatened to migrate toward the poles as their habitat is destroyed by global warming, mounting environmental disasters, and the encroaching ocean. The law—compartmentalized, siloized, reactive, and often oppressive—is not prepared to face these challenges. To address and begin to resolve the challenges of climate change on migration, we must resolve the deep-seated, structural problems that plague human and nonhuman animal migration law—including deregulation, illegalization, and securitization, and the human-animal borderlands that connects these. Drawing on the work of human and nonhuman animal migration experts and new research on rehumanization, this chapter examines this cutting-edge intersection from a legal perspective and sketches the policy goals and measures that can help avert a global migration crisis and build up interspecies resilience.

Available here.

Food Security and Symbolic Legislation in Switzerland: A False Sense of Security?, In: Justice and Food Security in a Changing Climate 349-355 (Hanna Schübel & Ivo Wallimann-Helmer eds., Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands) (peer-reviewed) (2021) (together with Odile Ammann)

In 2017, 78.7% of the Swiss people voted to enshrine the concept of ‘food security’ in the Federal Constitution. Originally prompted by agricultural interest groups for reasons of protectionism and then revamped by the Swiss Parliament, the new article 104a includes a wide array of demands for food policy, including protection of agricultural land, local production, conservation of natural resources and their effective use, responsiveness to market demand, and trade relations contributing to sustainable development. As a one-of-its-kind constitutional norm on food security, the now four-year-old article still raises questions about its precise scope and normative content. In particular, it is often said that the norm is largely symbolic. We shed light on these developments by examining the emergence of the norm and embedding it in the broader international discourse on food policy. We show that Switzerland’s understanding of food security is greatly flawed, as it seeks to secure its own access to goods without regard to their environmental footprint and effect on human rights abroad. In line with Switzerland’s climate and human rights commitments, we propose new ways to interpret food security, including moving away from market needs, distinguishing foodtypes based on whether they thwart food security in the long term, paying attention to food security elsewhere, and giving effect to considerations of distributive justice.

Available open access here.

Animals and Climate Change, In: Justice and Food Security in a Changing Climate 64-72 (Hanna Schübel & Ivo Wallimann-Helmer eds., Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands) (peer-reviewed) (2021) (together with Eva Meijer)

The climate crisis is often presented as a crisis for humans. It is, however, also a crisis for other animals with whom we share this planet. This raises the question of what we owe to animals in this crisis, which is not merely an ethical one. Indeed our relationships with other animals are distinctively political, raising new demands for policy making and change in political institutions and practices. In this process, it is key to recognize nonhuman animal agency, in order to do justice to them and to be able to overcome the human exceptionalism that led to the ecological crises we are facing.

Available open access here.

Primaten als Grundrechtsträger: Überlegungen zum ersten bundesgerichtlichen Tierrechtsurteil, 2 recht 1-13 (2021) (together with Raffael Fasel) (peer-reviewed)

In seinem Entscheid vom 16. September 2020 hat sich das Bundesgericht erstmals mit der Frage der Rechtsträgerschaft von Tieren (statt bloss des Tierschutzes) befasst und die im Kanton Basel-Stadt lancierte Initiative «Grundrechte für Primaten» für gültig erklärt. Im vorliegenden Beitrag setzen sich die Autoren, welche die Primateninitiative auf Seite der Initianten und Initiantinnen juristisch bis vor Bundesgericht in beratender Funktion begleitet haben, mit dem Entscheid kritisch auseinander. Besonderes Augenmerk wird auf die Finanzierung der Beschwerde, die praktische Tragweite der geforderten Grundrechte für Primaten und den Vorwurf der Betreibung reiner Symbolpolitik gelegt.

Available open access here.

From Zoonosis to Zoopolis, 11(4) Derecho Animal (dA, Forum of Animal Law Studies) 41-53 (2020) (peer-reviewed)

Within just a few weeks, COVID-19 has caused unprecedented lockdowns, the extensive use of emergency powers, shifts in how and who makes decisions, and unforeseen consequences for marginalized and newly marginalized individuals. Political leaders and journalists were quick to blame animals, such as bats and pangolins, as the ones “responsible” for this crisis. These accusations have led to animals being stigmatized globally; in some places, they were burned or otherwise killed by the hundreds. Framing animals as the scapegoats of the Corona crisis, however, is neither useful nor justified. Ultimately, it isn’t animals themselves, but the way in which we treat them that is the true cause of the pandemic. For the first time in history, experts from diverse fields such as has epidemiology, biology, chemistry, physics, and public health have called for a fundamental change in our relationships with animals. However, they do not sufficiently address what this change and our relationships with animals should look like in the future. Drawing on the recent “political turn” in animal ethics, this paper argues that COVID-19 prompts us to begin working to establish a Zoopolis – a shared interspecies society between humans and domesticated animals, and the recognition of wild animals as sovereigns. In doing so, the paper discusses linkages between pandemics and factory farming, structural similarities between human and animal oppression, and opportunities to consider animals in determining the public good, and to work toward a shared interspecies society.

Available open access here.

Grundrechte jenseits der «anthropologischen Schranke»? Die Primateninitiative im Lichte des wegweisenden Urteils des Verfassungsgerichts Basel-Stadt (together with Raffael Fasel), sui generis 413-423 (2020) (peer-reviewed)

Im Jahr 2016 lancierte die Organisation Sentience Politics im Kanton Basel-Stadt eine Initiative mit dem Ziel, ein Grundrecht auf Leben und körperliche und geistige Unversehrtheit für nichtmenschliche Primaten in die Verfassung aufzunehmen. Diese Initiative wurde zum Gegenstand eines Rechtsstreits, der 2019 zu einem wegweisenden Urteil des kantonalen Verfassungsgerichts führte. Das Verfassungsgericht anerkannte die Kompetenz der Kantone, «den Kreis der Rechteinhaber über die anthropologische Schranke hinaus auszudehnen». Dieses Urteil wurde kürzlich vom Bundesgericht bestätigt. Die Autoren, die diesen Fall juristisch begleitet haben, geben in diesem Beitrag aus erster Hand Einblicke in die juristischen Strategien hinter der Initiative und besprechen die wichtigsten rechtlichen Entwicklungen im Rechtsstreit unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Urteils des Verfassungsgerichts Basel-Stadt.

Available open access here.

Turning to Animal Agency in the Anthropocene, In: Animals in Our Midst: The Challenges of Co-existing with Animals in the Anthropocene 65-78 (Bernice Bovenkerk & Josef Kulartz eds., Springer, Berlin) (peer-reviewed) (2021)

Agency is central to humans’ individual rights and their organization as a community. Human agency is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through guaranteed rights, such as the right to life, basic education, freedom of expression, and the freedom to form personal relationships, which all protect humans from tyranny and oppression. Though studies of animal agency consistently suggest that we grossly underestimate the capacity of animals to make decisions, determine and take action, and to organize themselves individually and as groups, few have concerned themselves with whether and how animal agency is relevant for the law and vice versa. Currently, most laws offer no guarantee that animals’ agency will be respected, and fail to respond when animals resist the human systems that govern them. This failure emerges from profound prejudices and deep-seated anthropocentric biases that shape the law, including law-making processes. Law and law-making operating exclusively as self-judging systems is widely decried and denounced—except in animal law. This chapter identifies standpoint acknowledgement as a means to dismantle these tendencies, and provides instructions on how to ask the right questions. It concludes by calling for an “animal agency turn” across disciplines, to challenge our assumptions about how we ought to organize human- animal relationships politically and personally, and to increase our civic competence and courage, empathy, participation, common engagement, and respect for animal alterity.

Available open access here.

Animal Labor, Ecosystem Services, Journal of Animal & Natural Resource Law 1-40 (2020) (peer-reviewed)

Animal law has traditionally focused on the legal status of animals as either property, persons, or something in between. Recent scholarship seems to open a new avenue that allows us to ask if shifting our focus to animals’ activities can inaugurate more just human-animal relations. Ecosystem services (“ES”) proponents posit that animals’ services are largely ignored by humans, and that their worth should be calculated by cost-benefit analyses of the benefits animals provide humans. Animal labor (“AL”) proponents provoke with the claim that animals have been working for humans for centuries without wages and benefit of core labor protections that human workers enjoy and suggest we should extend labor rights to animals. These concepts, seemingly similar, diverge in important respects and lead us down different paths. This article explores the breadth, demands, and consequences of the ES and AL approaches, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each. It evaluates their ability to (i) make animals and their services visible and recognizable, (ii) establish new and effective forms of protection for them, (iii) address and resolve conflicts of interests with humans, and (iv) operate independently of economic parameters. This comparative analysis shows why AL must be preferred over ES, and how combinations of AL and ES can contribute to the slow but gradual rapprochement of animal law and environmental law.

Available open access here.

Should Animals Have a Right to Work? Promises and Pitfalls, 9(1) Animal Studies Journal 32-92 (2020 (peer-reviewed)

The view that non-human animals are ‘co-workers’ is a common trope used by researchers and the farming community, and increasingly forms the centre of inquiry in sociology, philosophy, and political economy. Scholars like Barbara Noske, Jocelyne Porcher, and Diane Stuart claim that animals are alienated from their labour, and that their contributions to our society are not recognized by it. Building on these findings, moral and political philosophers have recently argued that animals should have rights at work, like the right to remuneration or retirement. The much more pressing question, however, is whether animals should have a right to work. The right to work has emerged from a desire to recognize workers’ ‘right to pursue happiness’, and analogously, animals may have an interest in flourishing and in contributing to the wellbeing of their kin, which may be satisfied by fulfilling work. But the right to work is not without risk since it has been interpreted as a duty to work, is accused of reinforcing ableism and promoting dependency. This article provides an overview of the emerging debate, offers critical perspectives on the promises and pitfalls of animal labour, and establishes the necessary safeguards for labour to pave the way for interspecies justice.

Available open access here.

Advancing Ethical Principles for Non-Invasive, Respectful Research with Animal Participants, 28(2) Society & Animals 171-190 (2020) (together with Lauren van Platter) (peer-reviewed)

Animal studies scholars are increasingly engaging with nonhuman animals firsthand to better understand their lifeworlds and interests. The current 3R framework is inadequate to guide respectful, non-invasive research relations that aim to encounter animals as meaningful participants and safeguard their well-being. This article responds to this gap by advancing ethical principles for research with animals guided by respect, justice, and reflexivity. It centers around three core principles: non-maleficence (including duties around vulnerability and confidentiality); beneficence (including duties around reciprocity and representation); and voluntary participation (involving mediated informed consent and ongoing embodied assent). We discuss three areas (inducements, privacy, and refusing research) that merit further consideration. The principles we advance serve as a starting point for further discussions as researchers across disciplines strive to conduct multispecies research that is guided by respect for otherness, geared to ensuring animals’ flourishing, and committed to a nonviolent ethic.

Available open access here.

Just Transition for Agriculture? A Critical Step in Tackling Climate Change, 9(3) Journal of Agriculture Food Systems, and Community Development 1-6 (2020) (peer-reviewed)

Just Transition has become an established discursive and conceptual framework to transition economic industries toward a low-carbon and climate-resilient future. In the coal and mining industry in particular, it has gained a foothold and transformed politics and livelihoods. In other areas, like animal agriculture, which is equally damaging to the climate, the need for change and the deployment of Just Transition to achieve it are not yet established. Drawing on the most recent scientific insights by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this viewpoint argues that transitioning toward a low-carbon production is just as imperative in agriculture. Specifically, it demands that we move away from animal agriculture. The viewpoint concludes by sketching possible areas and means of intervention.

Available open access here.

Animal Impact Assessments: Contesting Denial, Changing the Future? In: What Can Animal Law Learn From Environmental Law? 95-120 (Randall S. Abate ed., 2d ed., ELI Press, Washington DC) (peer-reviewed) (2020)

Impact assessments are a popular regulatory tool in environmental law and human rights law that identify and evaluate the risks and benefits of projects and policy proposals, and share this information with specific interest groups or the public. Impact assessments are established among governments by treaties, delegated by regional law (like the EIA and EMAS regulation in the EU), domestic law (like NEPA), or set up by international organizations (like the UNEP’s Goals and Principles of Environmental Impact Assessments). When it comes to legislative proposals, development, research projects, and the like impacting the lives of animals, only a few of these bodies demand that the benefits and risks of these initiatives be made transparent, and this is usually done in a cursory manner.

This chapter aims to forge a path for “animal impact assessments.” First, it examines the rationale and nature of impact assessments as used in environmental law and human rights law, bringing to the fore their promises for our quest to make the world a more just place for animals. In an age of corporate governance, impact assessments can be a powerful tool to obtain knowledge about how animals are treated abroad and about whether a state carries the responsibility to regulate those actions. Impact assessments break the silence that marks the exploitation of animals and force us to acknowledge and recognize the magnitude and gravity of suffering inflicted on animals.

The chapter then addresses existing impact assessments that take into account animals but that fall short of taking animals seriously as sentient and conscious co-inhabitants of this world. Building on this premise, the chapter formulates a more capacious baseline expectation as to what projects and proposals animal impact assessments must cover, and their substantive and formal parameters. Regarding the substantive parameters, impact assessments should contain the following elements: problem definition, objectives of the planned project or policy proposals, their benefits and risks, measures available to mitigate adverse effects, alternative options to fulfill them, and feasibility assessments. This seems straightforward, but opens up intricate debates on whether alternatives must be “practical and feasible” (hence limiting the power of impact assessments to push for alternatives). As to the formal parameters, this section of the chapter considers requirements of independence, transparency, public participation, accountability, and funding.

The third section of the chapter focuses on a much-discussed debate on impact assessments, namely, whether they are merely process-based or also outcome-based, demanding that decision-makers act in a specific manner, in particular by performing a “balancing process.” In a staggering 17 cases, the U.S. Supreme Court held that NEPA is process-based and merely requires agencies to amass data and “consider” various alternatives, placing them under no duty to choose the most environmentally sound option. If the same is to be expected from animal impact assessments, namely that we merely gather data about the billions of animals whose most fundament interests we subject to our myopic desires, without questioning the legitimacy of this practice, how does this affect our evaluation of their exploitation? Does it not simply pervert our senses? Would it be better to continue “living the lie”? This chapter will work through these conundrums and conclude by formulating its own approach, drawing on social impact assessments (which allow for balancing interests in pursuance of its ultimate objective of improving development outcomes for communities) and human rights impact assessments (which do not allow for the balancing of impacts on the individual against the interests of the greater good).

Available here.

Secondary Victimization of Animals in Criminal Procedure: Lessons from Switzerland, 10(1) Journal of Animal Ethics 1-32 (2020)

Switzerland is internationally known for its progressive animal laws and for its innovative tools in law enforcement. In 1992, the Canton of Zurich introduced a public lawyer vested with the task of representing animals’ interests in criminal procedure, known as the Animal Protection Lawyer (APL). The APL had the power to access information about court proceedings, study pending court cases, and intervene on behalf of victim animals. This enforcement tool set a precedent across the world. It amounted to a recognition of animals as de facto victims and created an “equality of arms” for human and animal parties in criminal procedure. In a historic move in 2014, the Zurich parliament removed the APL from office—by mistake, as some maintain. Meanwhile—unnoticed by many—the Canton of Berne maintained a state agency vested with the very same powers as those the APL had, called the Dachverband Berner Tierschutzorganisationen (DBT). Though the DBT operated as an established agency for over 2 decades, in August 2017, a criminal court in Berne denied the DBT standing, arguing that the laws conferring on it the right to represent animals violate the federal law on criminal procedure. In July 2018, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment, and effectively stripped the DBT of its rights to represent animals in criminal proceedings.

This article describes these recent shifts in criminal animal law in detail and analyzes the sociopolitical factors that gave rise to them. Special attention is paid to the question of what is left for Switzerland as a role model in animal law given ongoing deregulations, particularly as recent cases in the United States point to an incremental emancipation of animals as victims. The article discusses current alternatives to the APL and the DBT (like public prosecutors, special prosecution sections, and veterinary agencies) and puts their promises under scrutiny. The analysis reveals that these alternatives skirt the main obstacles faced by animals in criminal procedure (issues of representation, expertise in animal law, funding, and competition with other causes) and threaten the democratic will of the Swiss people. Two alternatives are discussed that can help Switzerland overcome its insufficiencies: the organizational right to appeal and victim rights for animals in criminal procedure. Using these alternatives, the article calls for the global emancipation of animals as the proper victims of crimes and for furnishing them with correlating rights to enforcement, including rights to representation.

Available here.

Animal Agriculture and Farmers’ Rights: Exploring the Human Rights Nexus, 15(2) Journal of Food Law & Policy 92-151 (together with Odile Ammann) (2020) (peer-reviewed)

The host of negative effects of animal agriculture on the immediate environment, workers, and local communities are well- documented, yet little is known about the global repercussions of animal agriculture, especially on human rights guarantees. This contribution attempts to begin filling this soaring gap. It examines the nexus between industrial animal agriculture (with a focus on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)) on the one hand, and specific international human rights violations on the other hand. Our emphasis is on the role of government in producing these violations, rather than on the agribusiness itself. Laws originally designed to govern small family farms—so-called “farmers’ rights” laws, including right-to-farm laws and exemptions from environmental and animal law—now protect corporate giants, many of which are multinationals. Governments enacting and upholding farmers’ rights shield agribusiness activities that are damaging to the environment and humans’ livelihoods from regulation. While they are prima facie at liberty to do so under domestic law, their laws are subject to the scrutiny of international law, particularly the human rights regime that promises to put a halt to the ongoing insulation of animal agriculture. The human rights perspective adds valuable dynamics to the ongoing debate, is novel in application to the issue, and opens new pathways for academic inquiries and legal strategies because—unlike nuisance laws, environmental laws, and animal protection laws, which de facto exempt the issue from judicial scrutiny—these laws can be used to hold governments accountable. The human rights discourse also gives rise to community empowerment and innovative forms of advocacy and forges connections between the different social justice issues implicated in animal agriculture. Finally, we show how scholars, researchers, stakeholders, and the public concerned about human rights issues can bring animal agriculture into the conversation and prompt their governments to address the issue proactively.

Available open access here.

Animal Agency in Community: A Political Multispecies Ethnography of VINE Sanctuary, 6 Politics & Animals 1-22 (2020) (together with Sue Donaldson and Ryan Wilcox) (peer-reviewed)

Anthropocentric bias and ignorance limit our ability to conceive just ways of living with nonhuman animals, especially farmed animals. We need to learn from animals themselves, in environments where animals retain sufficient agency in their relations with us to allow for a rich and meaningful study of interspecies ethics and the possibilities of just multispecies societies. Using multispecies ethnography and feminist accounts of the self as a springboard, we investigate animal agency in a sanctuary for formerly farmed animals, considering how a careful exploration of dimensions of agency in this setting might inform ideas of interspecies ethics and politics. This innovative extension of multispecies ethnography explores individual and collective dimensions of animals’ agency through space and place, through practice and routine, and through social roles and norms, to learn about whether/how animals might want to live with us, and how we can recognize and support their agency through our relationships.

Available open access here.

Animal Labour: Toward a Prohibition of Forced Labour and A Right to Freely Choose One’s Work, In: Animal Labour: A New Frontier of Interspecies Justice? 91-115 (Charlotte E. Blattner, Kendra Coulter & Will Kymlicka eds., OUP, New York and Oxford 2020) (peer-reviewed)

For scholars who specialize in animal labour, those rights and institutions include the right to remuneration, safe working conditions, retirement, medical care, and collective bargaining (Cochrane, 2016). These rights flow quite naturally from the concept of animal labour and help us envision more just working relations with animals, but are they sufficient to ensure work is a place of happiness and meaning for animals? In the case of human workers, we claim to prevent their exploitation by acknowledging their right to freely choose their work and the concomitant prohibition of forced labour. Does the right to self-determination form part of the emancipatory project of “animal labour,” too? Should animals be able to decide whether they want to work or not, or what type of work they want to do? These questions form the centre of the first part of this chapter. In the second part, the author explains how animals’ right to self-determination could be secured at work, examining different models of dissent, assent, and consent and the best way to design these to secure animals’ agency, both in theory and practice.

Available here.

Introduction: Animal Labour and the Quest for Interspecies Justice, In: Animal Labour: A New Frontier of Interspecies Justice? 1-25 (Charlotte E. Blattner, Kendra Coulter & Will Kymlicka eds., OUP, New York and Oxford 2020) (together with Kendra Coulter and Will Kymlicka) (peer-reviewed)

For centuries, animals have worked alongside humans in a wide variety of workplaces, yet they are rarely recognized as workers or accorded labour rights. Many animal rights advocates have argued that using animals for their labour is inherently oppressive, and that animal labour should therefore be abolished. Recently, however, some people have argued that work can be a source of meaning, self-development and social membership for animals, as it is for humans, and that our goal should be to create good work for animals, not to abolish work. In this volume, an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars explores the benefits and drawbacks of animal labour as a site for interspecies justice. What kind of work is good work for animals? What kinds of labour rights are appropriate for animal workers? Can animals consent to work? Would recognizing animals as “workers” improve their legal and political status, or would it simply reinforce the perception that they are beasts of burden? Can a focus on labour help create bonds between the animal rights movement and other social justice movements? These and other questions are explored in depth. While the authors defend a range of views on these questions, their contributions make clear that the question of labour deserves a central place in any account of justice between humans and animals.

Available here.

Trophy Hunting, the Race to the Bottom, and the Law of Jurisdiction, in Studies in Global Animal Law 135-152 (Anne Peters ed., SpringerOpen, Cham) (2020)

Cross-border trade, industry outsourcing, and animal migration are increasingly challenging states that want to take their commitment to protecting animals seriously. When multinationals threaten to outsource, even the most powerful states succumb to economic pressure and give corporations what they so avidly desire: laissez-faire. Some argue this is an inevitable consequence of globalization; others say it prompts us to question whether animal law is not better off being regulated by international law. This chapter takes a third path. Instead of proposing that nations seek agreement on low and mostly ineffective animal welfare standards, it posits extraterritorial jurisdiction as a promising avenue for animal law, and takes trophy hunting as its example to illustrate the many jurisdictional options for states to overcome regulatory gaps in animal law and make animal issues more visible on the international plane.

Available open access here.

Tiernutzung aus ernährungs-, tier- und umweltethischer Perspektive (review), 16 Tierstudien 179-181 (2019) (peer-reviewed)

Review of Christopher Schlottmann & Jeff Sebo, Food, Animals, and the Environment: An Ethical Approach (Routledge, New York 2018).

Beyond the Goods/Resources Dichotomy: Animal Labor and Trade Law, 22(2) Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy 63-89 (2019)

Since its inception, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has, in a rather self-evident manner, treated animals as objects of trade: Animals must be either goods or natural resources subject to the terms and conditions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). However, broader public and legal efforts to recategorize animals from goods to “sentient beings,” which are emerging across the world, are casting serious doubt on these assumptions. Using animals’ subjectivity as a starting point, a new and bourgeoning strand of anthropological, ethical, and political studies argues that animals should properly be recognized as working subjects. Be it guide dogs, truffle hogs, logging elephants, or dairy cows—working animals, they argue, are owed wholly new legal and ethical duties. This article builds on these arguments to examine the consequences of “animal labor” for trade law: Are animals wrongly classified as commodities or resources? Is there a need and room to recognize animals as service providers under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)? What are the legal consequences of this proposed change? This article sets out to answer these questions and argues that recognizing animals as workers in trade law is conceptually coherent and can play a crucial role in empowering states to protect animals effectively at the international level.

Available here.

The Recognition of Animal Sentience by the Law, 9(1) Journal of Animal Ethics 121-136 (2019)

In order to protect nonhuman animals effectively, animal law must overcome many hurdles, be it the balance of human and nonhuman interests, the use paradigm, or narrow definitions of legal personhood and basic rights. A fact often overlooked in this uphill struggle is that the laws of most states recognize that animals must be protected because and to the extent that they are sentient. The legal recognition of animal sentience seems to nullify all and any attempts to deny them legal protection simply because they are not sufficiently appealing, emotionally close, or economically useful to us. However, the legal recognition of animal sentience does not overcome all our cognitive prejudices about animals. Using a comparative law method and insights from moral philosophy, this article analyzes the nature and scope of the legal recognition of animal sentience. It identifies its advantages in challenging arbitrariness and inconsistency and championing intrinsic animal protection and points to the most pressing shortcomings, including some states’ refusal to commit themselves to animal sentience and remaining prejudices in society and science. In concluding, the article offers ways to address and remedy these shortcomings and points to ways in which the concept can be used more effectively by academics and practitioners.

Available here.

Protecting Animals Within and Across Borders: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction and the Challenges of Globalization (Oxford University Press 2019)

Extraterritorial jurisdiction stands at the juncture of international law and animal law and promises to open a path to understanding and resolving the global problems that challenge the core of animal law. As corporations have relocated and the animal industry (agriculture, medical research, entertainment, etc.) has dispersed its production facilities across the territories of multiple states, regulatory gaps and fears of a race to the bottom have become a pressing issue of global policy. This book provides enough background to allow readers to understand why extraterritorial jurisdiction must respond to these developments, counters objections that readers might raise, and describes how to improve animal law in tandem. The heart of the work is a fully-fledged catalogue of options for extraterritorial jurisdiction, which states can employ to strengthen their animal laws. The book offers top-down perspectives drawn from general international law and trade law, and complements them by a bottom-up up view from the perspective of animal law. The approach connects the law of jurisdiction to substantive law and opens up deeper questions about moral directionality, state and corporate duties owed animals, and the comparative advantages of constitutional, criminal, and administrative animal law. To ensure that extraterritorial animal law does not become complicit in oppressing ethnic and cultural minorities, the book offers critical interdisciplinary perspectives, informed by posthumanist and postcolonialist discourse. Readers will further learn when and how extraterritorial jurisdiction violates international law, and the consequences of exercising it illegally under international law. This work answers questions about how and why extraterritorial jurisdiction can overcome the steepest hurdles for animal law and help move us toward a just global interspecies community.

Available open access here.

Swiss Court Rules Citizens Allowed to Vote on Primate Rights, blog post for the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), Mar. 22, 2019 (together with Raffael Fasel)

In June 2016, Sentience Politics launched a citizens’ initiative in the Swiss canton of Basel-Stadt with the aim of granting nonhuman primates constitutional rights to life and bodily and mental integrity, which we wrote about in an earlier post for the NhRP blog.

Switzerland is a federal state like the US and has a total of 26 “cantons”—the Swiss equivalent of a US state. As is common in some US states, the Swiss cantons provide their citizens with direct democratic tools to participate in the legislative process, giving them, for example, the possibility to propose amendments to the cantonal constitution by way of a citizens’ initiative.

In our last post, we wrote about how, after supporters of the primate initiative were able to collect the necessary signatures, the Cantonal Parliament, based on a report by the Cantonal Executive, declared the initiative invalid in January of 2018 mainly on two grounds. First, the initiative would contravene the Swiss Federal Civil Code, which, according to the Executive, determines conclusively that nonhuman animals do not qualify as legal persons (with rights) under Swiss law. Second, the initiative would require the Canton to enact new laws on animal welfare, an area where the federal government enjoys exclusive jurisdiction.

Supporters of the initiative appealed the Parliament’s decision at the Cantonal Constitutional Court, asking it to validate the initiative. On January 15, 2019, in a detailed and highly anticipated decision, the Cantonal Constitutional Court ruled that the primate rights initiative is valid and must be submitted to the people of Basel-Stadt for a vote, paving the way for the first ever direct-democratic vote on whether some nonhuman animals should be granted the fundamental rights to life and bodily and mental integrity.

Available open access here.

Wildtiere im Umwelt- und Tierschutzrecht: Zwischen Skylla und Charybdis? 1 Zeitschrift für Kritische Tierstudien 9-36 (2018) (peer-reviewed)

Das Tierschutzrecht ist ein aufstrebendes Rechtsgebiet, nicht nur im anglo-amerikanischen Rechtsraum, sondern weltweit. Der Fokus des Tierschutzrechts und der tierschutzrechtlichen Wissenschaft liegt auf „Heim- und Versuchstieren“ und vermehrt – jedoch immer noch marginal – auf „Nutztieren“. Im Vergleich dazu ist die Frage der Stellung der Wildtiere, also all jener Tiere, die nicht domestiziert sind, jedoch peripher. Man könnte einwenden, das Recht schere sich sehr wohl um Wildtiere, namentlich durch Maßnahmen zur Arterhaltung. Der Artenschutz als Domäne des Umweltrechts schützt jedoch einzig Tiergruppen als Kollektiv, nicht das Tier als Individuum. Auf den ersten Blick mag diese Unterscheidung lediglich semantischer Natur sein – so scheinen doch beide Ansätze die Tiere unter rechtlichen Schutz zu stellen, doch hat sie weitreichende Konsequenzen: Bildet der Schutz des individuellen Tieres bloß eine Reflexwirkung kraft Gruppenzugehörigkeit, kann ein Tier im Einzelfall zum anonymen Mitglied dieser Gruppe werden, dem rechtlich weder Lebensschutz, noch Schutz vor Qualen und Schmerzen zukommt. Zwischen Tierethikerinnen und Tierethikern auf der einen Seite, welche effektiveren Schutz empfindungsfähiger Wildtiere als Individuen fordern, und Umweltethikerinnen und Umweltethikern auf der anderen Seite, für welche der Schutz von Wildtieren als Kollektiv im Vordergrund steht, haben sich die Fronten aufgrund dieser unterschiedlichen Schutzkonzepte seit den 1980er Jahren verhärtet.

Der vorliegende Beitrag will den Rechtswissenschaften die in diesem Zusammenhang geführten philosophischen Debatten an der Schnittstelle zwischen Ökologie, Tierschutz und Tierrecht zugänglich machen. Auf dieser Grundlage wird die Frage gestellt, ob das geltende Umwelt- und Tierschutzrecht die Wildtiere angemessen schützt. In einem ersten Schritt führt der Artikel die Leserinnen und Leser in die täglichen Nöte der Wildtiere ein, um der vorherrschenden Romantisierung ihres Lebens in freier Wildbahn zu begegnen. Als Instrument heuristischer Methodik nehme ich dabei vornehmlich die Perspektive einzelner Tiere ein. Im Anschluss wird der bestehende Schutzumfang des Umwelt- und Tierschutzrechts für Wildtiere erarbeitet und auf deren Berührungs- und Konfliktpunkte sowie den Bedarf für stringentere Regelungen hingewiesen. Der vorliegende Beitrag kann dieses weitläufige Thema nur in seinen Grundzügen behandeln und beschränkt die rechtliche Analyse schwergewichtig auf die Schweiz, bedient sich aber rechtsvergleichender Analysen des norwegischen und litauischen Rechts, um tragfähigere Lösungen zu erarbeiten.

Available here.

Animal Personality im Tierschutzrecht, Internationale Gesellschaft für Nutztierhaltung (IGN) Nutztierhaltung im Fokus: Animal Personality – Persönlichkeit bei Nutztieren 46-51 (2018) (peer reviewed) (together with Vanessa Gerritsen)

Mit wenigen Ausnahmen ist das moderne Tierschutzrecht im deutschsprachigen Europaraum ein vergleichsweise junges Rechtsgebiet und hat erst in jüngsten Jahren eine vertiefte Auseinandersetzung in den vorherrschenden gesellschaftlichen und parlamentarischen Debatten erfahren. Gerade aufgrund seiner jüngeren Historie orientiert sich das Tierschutzrecht stark an den ihm angegliederten Disziplinen, wie etwa die Anthropologie, die Neurobiologie oder auch die Verhaltensbiologie (Pedersen, 2014, 13). Axiomatischer Ansatz des modernen Tierschutzrechts bildet stets das Konzept „animal welfare“ – das Wohlergehen resp. Wohlbefinden der Tiere. Traditionell wurde bislang davon ausgegangen, dass das Wohlbefinden von Tieren mittels spezies-spezifischer Normwerte griffig definiert und evaluiert werden kann. So legt beispielweise das Schweizer Tierschutzrecht fest, dass Schweine sich jederzeit mit Stroh, Raufutter oder anderem gleichwertigem Material beschäftigen können müssen (Art. 44 TSchV). Verhaltensbiologische Erkenntnisse jüngerer Zeit legen nahe, dass solche standardisierten Parameter trotz ihrer augenscheinlichen Praktikabilität zu kurz greifen und dem Wohlergehen von Tieren nicht angemessen zu entsprechen vermögen. Als neues Forschungsaxiom wird vorgeschlagen, dass die Persönlichkeit von Tieren, also die korrelierte Menge individueller Verhaltens- und physiologischer Merkmale, die über Zeit und Situationen konsistent sind (Finkemeier et al., 2018, 2), richtungsweisend sein soll für ein Urteil über das Vorhandensein, die Abwesenheit, oder den Grad an Wohlbefinden, die Tiere erleben. Im Bereich der Nutztiere etwa wird argumentiert, dass Persönlichkeit und Bewältigungsstrategien bei Tieren eng miteinander zusammenhängen (Finkemeier et al., 2018, 6). Entsprechend stark ist das Wohlbefinden eines Nutztieres nicht etwa nur von ihrem oder seinem tatsächlichen Gesundheitszustand beeinflusst, sondern auch von ihrem oder seinem individuellen Verhalten und Physiologie (Finkemeier et al., 2018, 9; Dawkins, 1998). Folglich müsste der Schweizer Gesetzgeber einem Schwein, die oder der besonders explorativ, interessiert und aktiv ist, weitaus mehr Möglichkeit zur Investigation und Beschäftigung zur Verfügung stellen als jene, die Art. 44 TSchV vorschreibt. Dieser Beitrag untersucht die Notwendigkeit und Vorteile, diesen Ansatz in die Rechtswissenschaften zu übersetzen, und setzt sich aufgrund der vorherrschenden Zwecke der Vermarktbarmachung des Tieres kritisch mit den Vorschlägen zur Tierpersönlichkeit auseinander.

Available open access here.

Animal Spa – die Geschichten des Tieranwalts, 40 Natur und Recht 540 (2018)

Beinahe alle Wissenschaftler der Animal Studies sehen sich selbst als „Vertreter der Tiere.“ Kaum jemand wird diesem Anspruch aber so gerecht wie Antoine Goetschel. Weltweit einzigartig vertrat er während drei Jahren die Interessen von über 700 Tieren als „Rechtsanwalt für Tierschutz in Strafsachen“ im Kanton Zürich. Das abrupte Aus für das Amt des Tieranwalts im Jahre 2010 in Folge diverser Anpassungen an die neue eidgenössische Strafprozessordnung hinterliess eine klaffende Lücke. In „Animal Spa“ gewährt uns der Autor seinen persönlichen Blick auf das Schweizer Tierschutzrecht, das Institut des Tieranwalts und den Vollzug der Tierschutzgesetzgebung im Straf- und Verwaltungsrecht.

Tieranwalt revisited (review), 14 Tierstudien 170-172 (2018) (peer reviewed)

Weltweit einzigartig vertrat Antoine Goetschel während drei Jahren die Interessen von über 700 Tieren als „Rechtsanwalt für Tierschutz in Strafsachen“ im Kanton Zürich. Das abrupte Aus für das Amt des Tieranwalts im Jahre 2010 in Folge diverser Anpassungen an die neue eidgenössische Strafprozessordnung hinterliess eine klaffende Lücke. In Animal Spa gewährt uns der Autor seinen persönlichen Blick auf das Schweizer Tierschutzrecht, das Institut des Tieranwalts und den Vollzug der Tierschutzgesetzgebung im Straf- und Verwaltungsrecht.

The Swiss Citizens’ Initiative for Primate Rights Goes to Court, blog post for the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), Apr. 2, 2018 (together with Raffael Fasel, Meret Schneider & Sophie Kwass)

The Swiss like to praise themselves for having one of the strictest animal welfare acts worldwide. This praise is not entirely without merit: Switzerland has indeed played a pioneering role in global animal law in a number of respects and ranks among the most progressive countries in the World Animal Protection Index. In 1992, for example, it became the first country to ban battery cages and the first to provide constitutional protection for the dignity of nonhuman animals. Just recently, Switzerland took the lead in banning the killing of lobsters without prior stunning, effectively leading to a ban on boiling lobsters alive.

Even the most advanced norms of Swiss animal welfare law, however, are indistinguishable from the welfare laws of other countries in one crucial regard: they leave untouched the assumption that nonhuman animals are here for us to use. This holds true even for those nonhuman animals who are autonomous agents with a sense of self and an ability to remember the past and to plan the future—which is increasingly becoming a matter of public debate. In a joint report from 2008, the Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology and the Federal Ethics Committee on Animal Experimentation criticized this state of affairs in light of the requirements of the animal dignity provision in Article 120(2) of the Swiss Federal Constitution. In particular, the committees suggested that nonhuman primates might require protection of their interests that goes beyond that provided by the current Animal Welfare Act.

Responding to this need for the protection of primates’ most vital interests, the not-for-profit Sentience Politics launched a citizens’ initiative in the Canton of Basel-Stadt to amend the Cantonal Constitution (which is the equivalent of the constitution of a U.S. state). The initiative specifically demands that the existing rights catalogue in the Constitution be complemented by a fundamental right to life and to bodily and mental integrity for nonhuman primates—in other words, not to be killed, held in captivity, or experimented on. In this blog post, the drafters of this initiative—Raffael Fasel, Charlotte Blattner, Meret Schneider, and Sophie Kwass—provide an account of the initiative’s goals, where it stands right now, and what is going to happen next.

Available open access here.

Rethinking the 3Rs: From Whitewashing to Rights, in Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change (Kathrin Herrmann & Kimberley Jayne eds., Brill Human-Animal-Studies Series, 2019)

Few other issues have prompted as many legislators to adopt legal instruction on the “proper” use of non-human animals as non-human animal research. Today, the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement of non-human animals in scientific procedures) are globally accepted by a vast majority of states (Blattner, 2014) and prominent international organizations, such as the World Organization for Animal Health (Article, Terrestrial Code, 2016), and the Council of Europe (CoE) (Articles 6.2, 7, 8, Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes, 1986). Widespread acceptance of the 3Rs is a notable achievement, since animal law is a relatively young field of law and societal attitudes about the human-animal relationship diverge sharply.

As progressive as this consensus appears, the law governing non-human animals in research – especially the 3R maxim that dominates this legal landscape – suffers from regulatory failure. First, although refinement seeks to ameliorate the conditions of non-human animals used for a research procedure, it fails to fulfil their basic welfare needs. For instance, pursuant to the US National Research Council Guide, a pig who weighs up to 50kg can be housed for up to five years on 15 square feet (0.9 m2), without any access to the outside. The Guide states that thereby “animals can turn around and move freely without touching food or water troughs, have ready access to food and water, and have sufficient space to comfortably rest away from areas soiled by urine and feces” (p.63, US NRC Guide, 2011). On 15 square feet, however, a pig cannot possibly exhibit normal behavior. No human of the same weight is expected to behave naturally in a 0.9m2 elevator, and certainly not for a period of five years. Second, despite widespread commitment to reduce and replace non-human animals in research, the number of non-human animals used for experimental purposes worldwide is now the same as it was in the 1980s (the number dropped in 1990s and 2000s, and is rising again ever since: Bayne et al., 2015; p.3, COM(2013) 859 final; Taylor et al., 2008; Taylor, 2013; Taylor and Rego, 2016). In quantitative terms, adopting the 3Rs has thus not lessened non-human animal suffering. Furthermore, states are reporting a rising number of research procedures done on non-human animals who are forced to endure the most severe experiments (e.g., NZZ, 2016).

At the same time, societal demands for better protection of non-human animals are more common than ever before (Eurobarometer, 2016). According to the most recent polls, citizens are increasingly concerned about the welfare of non-human animals used in research, and agree that more needs to be done to replace non-human animals in research (Gallup Poll, 2017, speaking of 74%; Clemence and Leaman, 2016; Pew Research Center, 2015; European Citizen’s Initiative “Stop Vivisection”, 2016). Although there are concerns about the potential of the 3Rs to lead to the ultimate replacement of non-human animals in research (see below), the 3Rs continue to be a popular policy tool for legislators and research facilities that use them as an example of their effort to ameliorate the suffering of non-human animals in research. The worldwide acceptance and simultaneous failure of the 3Rs seems to have turned the maxim – intentionally or not – into a means of whitewashing the images of scientists, research industries, and regulators vis-à-vis the public. In light of these developments, this chapter takes a functional comparative approach to scrutinizing how we can meet the rising societal demands for replacement. I specifically examine whether the 3Rs bear the potential of meeting this goal, and if so, what reforms are necessary, or whether the 3Rs should instead better be abrogated.

Tackling Concentrated Animal Agriculture in the Middle East through Standards of Investment, Export Credits, and Trade, 10 Middle Eastern Journal of Law and Governance 141-159 (2018) (peer reviewed)

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar are the main investors in farm animal production outside their territory, prompting a mass-adoption of concentrated animal feeding operations in investment-importing states like Iran and Pakistan. Global actors like the International Finance Corporation and the Food and Agriculture Organization espouse the Middle Eastern states’ investment strategy by generously supporting it with direct payments and feed. However, because intensified animal agricultural production systems are known to cause environmental pollution, threaten public health and food security, and pose a moral hazard for animals, this article makes use of existing cross-border relationships to the Middle East to counter the growing agricultural trend towards intensification. Specifically, the article examines whether and how international investment standards, export credit standards, bilateral investment treaties, and bilateral free trade agreements can be used to encourage responsible investment and trade flows that factor in the interests of animals.

Available here.

Extraterritoriale Jurisdiktion und Tierarbeit – Perspektiven einer globalisierten Ethik, in: Jahrbuch Praktische Philosophie in globaler Perspektive Vol. 2: Schwerpunkt “Natur” als Bezugspunkt der prakischen Philosophie 305-338 (Michael Reder, Alexander Filipović, Dominik Finkelde & Johannes Wallacher eds.) (Verlag Karl Alber 2018) (peer reviewed)

Globalisierung interessiert uns in erster Linie, wenn mit ihr Vor- oder Nachteile für menschliche Gesellschaften verbunden sind, sei es preiswerte Produktion, Investmentdiversifizierung oder Umweltnutzung und -verschmutzung. Entsprechend polarisiert die fortschreitende globale Ausdehnung der Massentierhaltung, Tierversuchsforschung oder Unterhaltungsindustrie in der Politik auch weniger als es Themen wie Wirtschaft oder Finanzwachstum tun. Die Internationalisierung tierschutzrechtlicher Sachverhalte führt nicht nur zu deren territorialen Ausdehnung und Proliferation, sondern regelmäßig auch zu schwächeren Informationsflüssen und einer gesellschaftlichen Distanz zur Thematik. Gleichzeitig ist mit der zunehmenden Sensibilisierung der Bevölkerung für die Anliegen der Tiere aber auch das Bewusstsein für das globalisierte Tierleid gewachsen. Sowohl der Tierrechtsaktivismus wie auch die Tierethik haben bisher noch keine befriedigenden Antworten auf diese gegensätzlichen Entwicklungen und somit auf die globale Dimensionen unseres Umgangs mit den Tieren gefunden: Die Ethik beschränkt sich in ihren Analysen vorwiegend auf tierethische Herausforderungen auf nationaler Ebene und verpasst es dadurch, auf die weitverbreitete Auffassung zu reagieren, tierschutzrechtliche Reformen wären im Lichte drohender Auslagerungen untunlich, geradezu schädlich, sowohl für Menschen wie auch für Tiere. Der vorliegende Artikel argumentiert, dass die Rechtswissenschaft im Hinblick auf diese Fragen als Ort der Neuverhandlung wirken kann, indem sie den wachsenden Herausforderungen des globalisierten „animal-industrial complex“ mit innovativen Lösungsansätzen begegnet. Aus den vielfältigen Möglichkeiten, die die Rechtswissenschaft bereithält, stechen zwei neuartige Konzepte hervor: die extraterritoriale Anwendung nationalen Tierschutzrechts und die Forderung nach Arbeitnehmerrechten für Tiere. Beide Ansätze verstehen sich als Erweiterung etablierter Rechtskonzepte, setzen am bestehenden gesellschaftlichen Umgang mit Tieren an und haben das Potenzial, als zukunftsträchtige Diskurspunkte der Tierethik und -politik in globaler Perspektive aufzutreten.

Available open access here.

Can Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Help Overcome Regulatory Gaps of Animal Law? Insights from Trophy Hunting, 111 American Journal of International Law Unbound 419-424 (2017)

Cross-border trade, industry outsourcing, and increased animal migration are becoming a pressing issue for numerous states and challenge our territorial conceptions of animal law to their core. Instead of proposing nations try to solve the problem by coming to agreement on low, and mostly ineffective standards, this article opens an unexplored and promising avenue for animal law: The extraterritorial protection of animals. At the example of trophy hunting, the article reveals the many established jurisdictional options that can help animal law overcome regulatory gaps, and showcases how animal matters can gain visibility on the international plane.

Available here.

Nun sag, wie hast Du’s mit den Wildtieren? Zur Gretchenfrage im Umwelt- und Tierschutzrecht, 13 Tierstudien 56-69 (2018)

Das Tierschutzrecht ist ein aufstrebendes Rechtsgebiet, nicht nur im anglo-amerikanischen Rechtsraum, sondern weltweit. Der Fokus des Tierschutzrechts und der tierschutzrechtlichen Wissenschaft liegt auf „Heim- und Versuchstieren“ und vermehrt – jedoch immer noch marginal – auf „Nutztieren“. Im Vergleich dazu ist die Frage der Stellung der Wildtiere, also all jener Tiere, die nicht domestiziert sind, jedoch peripher . Man könnte einwenden, das Recht schere sich sehr wohl um Wildtiere, namentlich durch Maßnahmen zur Arterhaltung. Der Artenschutz als Domäne des Umweltrechts schützt jedoch einzig Tiergruppen als Kollektiv, nicht das Tier als Individuum . Auf den ersten Blick mag diese Unterscheidung lediglich semantischer Natur sein – so scheinen doch beide Ansätze die Tiere unter rechtlichen Schutz zu stellen, doch hat sie weitreichende Konsequenzen: Bildet der Schutz des individuellen Tieres bloß eine Reflexwirkung kraft Gruppenzugehörigkeit, kann ein Tier im Einzelfall zum anonymen Mitglied dieser Gruppe werden, dem rechtlich weder Lebensschutz, noch Schutz vor Qualen und Schmerzen zukommt . Zwischen Tierethikerinnen und Tierethikern auf der einen Seite, welche effektiveren Schutz empfindungsfähiger Wildtiere als Individuen fordern, und Umweltethikerinnen und Umweltethikern auf der anderen Seite, für welche der Schutz von Wildtieren als Kollektiv im Vordergrund steht, haben sich die Fronten aufgrund dieser unterschiedlichen Schutzkonzepte seit den 1980er Jahren verhärtet.

Available here.

Zulässigkeit von Beschränkungen des Handels mit tierquälerisch hergestellten Pelzprodukten (together with Andreas Rüttimann & Vanessa Gerritsen), 15(2) TIERethik 56-85 (2017)

Beschreibung der VeröffentlichungDie üblichen Pelzgewinnungsmethoden stellen nach Maßstab des Schweizer Rechts klare Tierquälereien dar. Dennoch hat der Import von Pelzwaren in die Schweiz in den vergangenen Jahren wieder stark zugenommen. Auch die 2013 in Kraft getretene Pelzdeklarationsverordnung vermochte diesen Anstieg nicht aufzuhalten. Um zu verhindern, dass die Schweiz durch eine inländische Nachfrage tierquälerische Pelzproduktionsformen im Ausland fördert, sind daher griffigere Maßnahmen notwendig. In Betracht kommt hierfür insbesondere ein Verbot des Imports und Inverkehrbringens tierquälerisch erzeugter Pelzprodukte.
Aus rechtlicher Sicht stellt sich jedoch die Frage, ob ein solches Verbot mit den internationalen Handelsverpflichtungen der Schweiz vereinbar wäre. Tatsächlich verstieße dieses zwar gegen verschie- dene Bestimmungen sowohl des Allgemeinen Zoll- und Handelsabkommens (GATT) als auch mehrerer bilateraler Abkommen, die die Schweiz mit der EU und Drittstaaten geschlossen hat.

Tiere lebend essen: Tierschutzstrafrechtliche Analyse eines wachsenden Food-Trends, ex ante 5-18 (2017)

Der Verzehr lebender Tiere wird längst nicht mehr nur im südostasiatischen Raum angeboten, doch fehlt eine Aufarbeitung dieses Food-Trends im Schweizer Rechtsraum. Dieser Artikel stellt die neuesten wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisse über die Empfindungsfähigkeit lebend gegessener Tiere vor und untersucht im Hauptteil, ob die schweizerische Tierschutzgesetzgebung diese strafrechtlich adäquat schützt.

Available open access here.

Zulässigkeit von Beschränkungen des Handels mit tierquälerisch hergestellten Pelzprodukten 1-88 (together with Vanessa Gerritsen and Andreas Rüttimann) (Schriftenreihe Tier im Recht 2017)

Eine wirtschaftlich rentable Produktion von Pelzwaren ist zwangsläufig mit Haltungs- oder Jagdmethoden verbunden, die den betroffenen Tieren immenses Leid zufügen. Obschon die Schweizer Bevölkerung entsprechende Umgangsformen mit Tieren entschieden ablehnt und diese nach Massstab des eidgenössischen Rechts klare Tierquälereien darstellen, nimmt die Einfuhr von Pelzprodukten in die Schweiz seit mehreren Jahren massiv zu. Auch die 2013 eingeführte Pelzdeklarationsverordnung vermochte die Nachfrage nicht zu senken. Die Gründe hierfür werden im vorliegenden Gutachten ebenso untersucht wie die Notwendigkeit und Durchführbarkeit griffigerer Regelungen. Im Zentrum der Analyse steht dabei ein mögliches Verbot des Imports und/oder des Inverkehrbringens tierquälerisch hergestellter Pelzerzeugnisse. Es wird aufgezeigt, dass eine solche Massnahme zum Schutz der öffentlichen Sittlichkeit und der betroffenen Tiere dringend geboten ist und überdies mit den internationalen Handelsverpflichtungen der Schweiz vereinbar wäre.

Available here.

The Extraterritorial Protection of Animals: Admissibility and Possibilities of the Application of National Animal Welfare Standards to Animals in Foreign Countries, 1-639 (University of Basel, Nov. 2016)

This research project is a dissertation at the intersection of international law and animal law. The thesis is embedded in the doctoral program “Law and Animals – Ethics at Crossroads” of the Law Faculty of the University of Basel. It is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) through the prestigious Doc.CH grant. The thesis is supervised by Prof. Dr. iur. Anne Peters, University of Basel, and co-supervised by Prof. Dr. iur. Christine Kaufmann, University of Zurich, and, as a third member of the phD committee, by Dr. Gieri Bolliger, a global expert for animal law.

In light of the corporate multinational activity, corporate relocations, and the dispersion of production steps in the animal industry (agriculture, food, clothing, medical research, etc.) over various states’ territories, it is increasingly unclear which state is competent to regulate which production steps involving animal welfare. As the industry is remarkably mobile, states are sensitive to threats of corporate relocations. Moral and ethical convictions of one state’s population (e.g., the European public’s hostility to seal slaughter) might lead some states or regulatory entities to adopt stricter legal standards of animal welfare with extraterritorial effects. It is therefore important to study the limits which international law places on the nation states’ extraterritorial animal protection jurisdiction. Although states exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction in many fields of law (notably in competition, banking, and criminal law), it is largely unknown to what extent this is happening with regard to animal law. The thesis provides answers to the following research questions: What are the legal options under international law for a state to apply national animal welfare standards to animals situated in foreign countries? What is the specific content of animal welfare standards that might be imposed in an extraterritorial way?

An Assessment of Recent Trade Law Developments from an Animal Law Perspective: Trade Law as the Sheep in the Wolf’s Clothing? 22(2) Animal Law Review 277-310 (2016)

The further development of animal law seems lost in between global animal law, domestic law, and trade law. First, classical elements of global animal treaty law are limited to preservationist aspirations, insusceptible to the question of how animals are treated or how they cope with their environment. Second, animal welfare regulation is understood as a matter confined to national territories. In cross-border dialogue, animal matters have been reduced to allegations of imperialism, little conducive to furthering animal interests. Third, animals are regarded as commodified goods in international trade law, rendering their regulation an undesirable barrier to trade. The present deficiencies deprive global animal law of its significance as a dynamic instrument responsive to global challenges, be they ethical, environmental, economic, technological, or sociological in nature.
The objective of this paper is to demonstrate future ways out of this dilemma. Recent developments in trade law, observable at four examples of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) “case law”, mark an important development for animal law. State objectives expressed through trade law are slowly moving away from anthropocentric considerations (i.e. geared to preserve a fraction of animals for human interests) towards sentio-centric animal welfare (i.e. aimed at minimizing animal suffering and focusing on animal interests). Thereby, the quality of animal law which ascended on the international plane through trade law exceeded the status quo of global animal treaty law. Although the WTO itself is an inherently inadequate forum to further animal interests, trade law bears considerable potential to catalyze more comprehensive developments in global animal treaty law, notably by focusing on individual sentient animals, their interests, and suffering.

Available here.

Extraterritorialität im Bereich Wirtschaft und Menschenrechte: Extraterritoriale Rechtsanwendung und Gerichtsbarkeit in der Schweiz bei Menschenrechtsverletzungen durch transnationale Unternehmen, Swiss Center for Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR) 2016 1-110 (together with Christine Kaufmann, Christoph Good, and Sabrina Ghielmini)

Der Themenbereich Menschenrechte und Wirtschaft des SKMR wurde von der Abteilung menschliche Sicherheit des EDA (AMS), dem Bundesamt für Justiz (BJ) sowie vom Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft (SECO) beauftragt, eine Grundlage für die Klärung der Frage der Extraterritorialität im Zusammenhang mit Menschenrechtsbeeinträchtigungen durch Schweizer Unternehmen im Ausland zu erarbeiten. Die Studie soll innerhalb des völkerrechtlichen Rahmens einen Überblick über die in der Schweiz vorhandenen extraterritorialen Mass-nahmen im Bereich Menschenrechte und Unternehmen geben. Darüber hinaus soll damit eine Grundlage für die Beantwortung der Frage geschaffen werden, wie die Schweiz im internationalen Vergleich steht und welche Handlungsoptionen für zukünftige Umsetzungsmassnahmen des Nationalen Aktionsplans zur Implementierung der UN-Leitsätze zu Wirtschaft und Menschenrechten bestehen.

Fundamental Rights for Primates: Policy Paper by Sentience Politics, Effective Altruism Foundation, April 2016 (together with Raffael Fasel, Adriano Mannino, and Tobias Baumann)

Nonhuman primates are highly complex beings, possessing an intrinsic, essential interest in living a life of bodily and mental integrity. However, current legal provisions worldwide hardly accommodate these interests. Therefore, nonhuman primates need to be protected by fundamental rights which guarantee that their essential interests are respected. In this position paper, we first propose a scientific and moral basis for such rights and subsequently give several arguments for why such rights are needed. We conclude by suggesting a number of ways to implement fundamental rights to life and physical as well as mental integrity for nonhuman primates.

The Potential and Potential Limits of International Law in Regulating Animal Matters, 3 Mid-Atlantic Journal on Law and Public Policy 10-55 (2015)

The increasing emergence of animal matters on the international plane and their newly gained prominence in public debates create hope that animals will truly find a meaningful place in our society as sentient beings with intrinsic interests. But far beyond hope, what can be done, legally, to push the development of more cogent legal rules on the human-animal relationship beyond illusionary hope, namely to a realistic expectation? This article approaches this question from an economic and an international law perspective. It first studies why the regulation of activities impacting on the welfare of animals is needed as a first step, drawing on arguments from regulatory theories. It then examines the existing international paradigms governing the human-animal relationship, as well as the benefits of international law vs. national law in regulating animal matters pro futuro, and subsequently assesses the potential of international law for the future development of animal law.

Available open access here.

3R for Farmed Animals – A Legal Argument for Consistency, in Who’s Talking Now? Multispecies Relations Analysis from Humans and Animals’ Point of View 269-91 (Chiara Blanco and Bel Deering (eds.), Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford UK 2015)

The 3R principles, namely refinement, reduction and replacement, have evolved into the principal standard for the regulation of animals used in research. 3R now enjoy sweeping international recognition: they are accepted both by the public as well as by legislative authorities, and have led to remarkable successes for individual animal welfare. By contrast, regulatory achievements for farm animals are, strictly speaking, non-existent. Consequently, arguments for and against the existing discrimination are examined. The findings manifest that the manner of animal use currently determining the extent of legal regulation does not justify a legal discrimination between animals used for research and farm animals. Due to the internationally accepted imperative to avoid unnecessary suffering, whose nature is indiscriminate of the categorisation of research or farm animals, a duty to apply 3R to animals in farming emerges – a conclusion that suggests itself on grounds of consistency. First, refinement in farming requires elaborate rules on the breeding, raising, keeping, and slaughtering of farm animals are required. Refinement alone, however, proves to be critically inadequate to address the ethical, environmental, health, and poverty-related problems caused by current farming practices. Thus, it is analysed whether reduction methods are capable of foreclosing major implications. The principle of proportionality, which has evolved into an over-arching and self-perpetuating principle in most nations’ legislations and beyond, necessitates a diligent balance of interests in qualitative terms that stringently calls for replacement. A responsibility of this kind is argued to emanate from a significant number of states’ implementation of the avoidance of unnecessary animal suffering, as well as the international policy of the humane treatment of animals that are substantiated against this background.

3R for Farmed Animals – A Legal Argument for Consistency, 1 Global Journal of Animal Law 1-27, 2014

This article presents reasonable arguments for an extension of the 3R principles used in research to the regulation of farm animals. It aspires to expound the level of legal protection in the field of research and analyze whether these means of protection have contributed to a perceptible amelioration of animal welfare in the respective field. In the same course, it pays attention to exploring the reasons for the emergence of the 3Rs in research. The article then identifies the existing levels of protection in the field of farming and presents the differences of legal protection for animals in research and for animals in farming. This analysis forms the basis for exploring the reasonable possibility of applying the principles in research to the animals used for farming purposes and of establishing a common underlying legal maxim. Finally, the article exemplifies specific applications of the principle of 3R to farmed animals.

Available open access here.

Stellungnahme zum Potenzial der Reduktion von Treibhausgasen, 2 Jusletter 1-7, May 2014

Der vorliegende Artikel ficht die Aussage an, dass der Bericht «Kosten und Potenzial der Reduktion von Treibhausgasen in der Schweiz» des Bundesamtes für Umwelt (BAFU) eine „gesamtheitliche Betrachtung dieser Potenziale unter einheitlichen Annahmen sowie eine konsistente Beurteilung der jeweiligen Kosten“ darstellt. Der Entscheid, die Reduktionsmöglichkeit im Landwirtschaftssektor nicht als „Potenzial zur Reduktion von Treibhausgasen in der Schweiz“ mitzuberücksichtigen, hat sich erst vor dem Anspruch einer objektiven Wissenschaft zu rechtfertigen. Die bestehende Vernachlässigung verunmöglicht die Zielsetzung, eine im Vergleich zum Ausland erhöhte Reduktion zu erreichen und untergräbt die Glaubwürdigkeit des Vorhabens. In diesem Sinne sollte in der verfolgten Politik zumindest der Anreiz für eine freiwillige Reduktion der THG-Emissionen und für einen Umstieg auf Alternativen zu tierlichen Produkten gesetzt werden, dies im Einklang mit der festgelegten Aspiration „Reduktion der Klimaverschmutzung”.

Tagungsbericht ‘The Animal Turn and the Law’, TIERethik, May 2014 (together with Eberhart Theuer)

Dieser Bericht zeigt die aktuellsten Entwicklung der Tierrechtsdebatte anhand der Konferenz “The Animal Turn and the Law” auf, welche am 4-5 April 2014 in Basel stattfand.

Hope beyond Illusion: Global Animal Law, Verfassungsblog, On Matters Constitutional, April 2014

Why bother directing more attention to animals’ interests on a national level if the most relevant actors escape national regulation anyway? How are we to promote the development of animal issues in a constructive manner, given the cultural differences worldwide? This blog post expounds the many avenues of academics to these questions, presented at the Animal Turn and the Law Conference, held in Basel on April 4-5, 2014.