Monday, January 28, 2008

Animal rights groups pick up momentum

The USA Today reports on the exponential growth of the animal rights movement noting that it is impacting the life of Americans in a number of ways including "what they study in law school." In addition to quoting a number of mainstays from the animal law sphere (e.g. Bruce Favre, Bruce Friedrich), the article lists a number of fronts that have seen significant changes in recent years:

•The Humane Society says it expects 28 state legislatures this year to consider strengthening existing bans on dogfighting and cockfighting; 13 states are considering bills regulating "puppy mills," mass dog-breeding operations that keep puppies in small crates.

•Massachusetts activists are collecting signatures to get a statewide initiative on the November ballot that would ban commercial greyhound racing by 2010. The Committee to Protect Dogs says state records show that since 2002, 728 greyhounds have been injured racing at the state's two tracks.

•Over the past three years, 330 colleges have stopped or dramatically reduced the use of eggs from hens in cramped wire crates called battery cages; retailers including Burger King, Hardee's, Carl's Jr. and Ben & Jerry's now use eggs produced by cage-free hens, Markarian says.

•More than 90 American Bar Association-approved law schools now offer courses in animal law, compared with only a handful 10 years ago. Favre compares the growing interest in animal law among incoming law students to an explosion of interest in environmental law in the 1970s.

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