Animal welfare is a relatively new legal argument, one that doesn't yet trump claims of ownership, says Michigan State law professor and animal-rights expert David Favre. But the two arguments may not be mutually exclusive—animals can remain property and still acquire rights. "Some judges are not finding it incongruous to acknowledge that animals are part of the 'prop world,' but because they're such unique, living property, they also ought to look at the best interests of the animals," Favre says. So where ownership is at all vague or questionable, emerging concern for animal rights may tip the scale.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Chimp custody dispute
If you can get past the headline, this article is worth a look. It describes the custody battle involving the fate of Emma and Jackson, two chimpanzees. According to the story, the organizations at issue are Primarily Primates Inc., in Texas, and Chimps, Inc, out of Oregon. In addition to a sniplet from animal law guru Bruce Wagman, the story includes this notable, quotable passage from David Favre, the same Michigan State law professor mentioned in the last post: