Saturday, July 28, 2007

Legislation to address pet custody in divorce cases

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that a new bill has been introduced to govern how divorcing couples and courts should handle disputes about pet custody. The bill is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. The thorough report also addresses the the rapidly expaning field of animal law with quotes from professor Richard Cupp from Pepperdine University:

The bill, introduced earlier in July, comes as both the public's attitude and the legal community's interest in the humane treatment of animals and their legal rights is growing.

A decade ago, just a few law schools were teaching courses on pets' rights, the treatment of farm animals and dog-bite statutes, said law professor Richard L. Cupp, associate dean for research at Pepperdine University school of law in Malibu, Calif.

Now, dozens of schools teach courses on animal law and colleges have clinical programs and research centers devoted to the subject. This fall, Georgetown University Law Center and the Humane Society of the United States will launch a new effort to expand the school's animal law curriculum.

"It's one of the most rapidly expanding areas of law in this country," said Cupp.

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