n Southern African Public Law - Non-human animals and the law : the fable of power

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2219-6412


Should we protect non-human animals from cruelty? Almost every legal system in the world, including international and regional systems, answers this question in the affirmative. Therefore, while there is no consensus regarding whether or not the human animal should use the non-human animal, it is clear that, at a minimum, there is broad (not universal) consensus to mitigate the harm nonhuman animals experience as a result of the human animal's use and exploitation of other species. This is not to say that every jurisdiction, culture or discrete community either protects or harms its animals. The nature of the relationship between human and non-human animals is as diverse as the range of animal species itself. One can conclude, however, that a modicum of constraint is used by almost all systems in their engagement with non-human animals.

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