As the world changes so do worldviews and therefore, so do the accepted morals and values of the time. With these changing morals and values come altering laws, amended or renewed to reflect these changing views. This is called law reform, in particular, the subject of Animal Welfare. Laws in relation to animal welfare have been made and amended to restore justice and equality to the voiceless members of society. Before recent times, the rights of animals had been severely overlooked. Attention has been brought to breeding and slaughtering practices around the world through wide scale media. In such countries these processes fly under the radar and are rarely monitored, until now. This is when worldwide regulations have to be put in place to ensure that appropriate and adequate treatments are adhered to around the world.
Most animal cruelties on a small scale are kept quiet, and are performed either in secluded areas away from prying eyes or those who witness such things are unable or unsure of how to seek justice. Although most of the first laws regarding animal protection from human mistreatment were made in the early 19th Century, according to Peter Sankoff and Steven White’s book; ‘Animal Law in Australiasia’, these laws fall short of bringing adequate justice to the cruelties within Australia and New Zealand. Activists, academics, law professionals and many others share this view, giving even more reason to amend relevant legislation to cover any discrepancies and loopholes. Animal law has only recently emerged as a studied genre of law, which means it is slowly becoming more known.
The constitution is the basis for all Australian law and in this case, particularly from section 51. Firstly, section 51 of the Constitution provides that the 'Parliament shall… have power to make laws for peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to' 39 subject matters, known as 'heads of power'. Although the constitution itself doesn’t outline laws regarding animals other than fish, it does give the conditions in which other laws can be created. The Commonwealth can enact any law, provided that the law is characterized as being under at least one of the heads of power. Subject to some limitations, a law that is characterized as being one with respect to one of these heads of power will be valid although it may regulate some other matter that is not specifically allocated to the Commonwealth (such as animal welfare). Through external affairs powers and corporations power came these treaties: Examples of the treaties formed with other countries are as follows: * The Convention on Biological Diversity 1992,
* The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 1973, * The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species and Wild Animals 1979 (‘the Bonn Convention’) and * The Convention on the Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific 1976 (‘the Apia Convention’).
Mechanisms of Reform- Non-Government Organizations.
'Lawyers For Animals' is an organization dedicated to advocating the need to improve animal welfare through education and law, as well as ‘Voiceless’. Voiceless is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering networks for law professionals, academics and politicians to influence law and the need for law reform regarding animal welfare. They conduct research regarding agricultural industry practices, exposing legalized cruelty and promoting need for debate. They also attempt to inform the public about consuming and which products have and have not come from low quality, quantity breeders. They recognize the need for a voice that projects the facts of cruelty among everyday people and corporations that give way to law reform and law making in relation to the protection and rights of animals. By building a forum, social justice movement, funding in education, participation in events and forming...