LAW5458 - Animal law, regulation and policy - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Term 3 2017 (Day)


This unit examines the ways in which Australian law defines and regulates the control, treatment and welfare of non-human animals. Significant laws, regulatory systems, and contemporary policy debates related to human uses of animals in specific contexts will be critically examined. These may include: animals in agriculture; the live export industry; 'ag gag' laws; animals in science, research and education; companion animals; and animals in the wild. While the primary focus of the unit will be upon the law in Australia, where relevant international and comparative developments will be considered.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate specialised knowledge and understanding of the law, policies and objectives that constitute and underlie the regulatory schemes affecting animal welfare outcomes and management in Australia;
  2. Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex legal and policy issues relating to the balance between commercial stakeholder interests, ethics, animal welfare objectives and the public interest in the management of human - animal relationships;
  3. Research independently into relevant domestic and international materials on the regulation of animals in distinct contexts, demonstrating knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods;
  4. Be in a position to interpret and transmit legal knowledge, skills and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences regarding rights and responsibilities under the regulatory regimes that relate to the treatment of animals in the contexts studied;
  5. Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to solve complex problems relating to policy making and regulation in the field of animal law.


Research assignment (3,750 words): 50%

Take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements). Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.

Chief examiner(s)