60(ish) Seconds: What is Animal Law?

Legal Studies instructor Victoria Shroff gives a glimpse into her Capilano Universe virtual lecture.


My name is Victoria Shroff and I am Zooming to you from the uncededed territory of the xʷməθkʷəỷəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and SəỈílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

I’m here today to talk about animal law: what it is, and why it matters. So just a simple definition of animal law is anytime when an animal and the law intersect.

So that can be anything from farmed animal cases, to whales in the ocean, dangerous dogs. It can be all sorts of different laws intersecting with animals. And I’m going to take you through some of the history of animal law to the current times.

So we’ve moved from an exploitative era where animals were seen as nothing more than automatons, non-sentient beings, to a time where they are now seen as family members in their own right, deserving of protections and rights afforded by the law.