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Edited by Michael Burger

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Silvana Bartoletto

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Silvana Bartoletto

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Edited by Nengye Liu, Cassandra M. Brooks and Tianbao Qin

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Edited by Nengye Liu, Cassandra M. Brooks and Tianbao Qin

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Edited by Nengye Liu, Cassandra M. Brooks and Tianbao Qin

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Edited by Lorenzo Squintani, Jan Darpö, Luc Lavrysen and Peter-Tobias Stoll

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Edited by James Meadowcroft, David Banister, Erling Holden, Oluf Langhelle, Kristin Linnerud and Geoffrey Gilpin

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Michael Bowman

From the time of its emergence, the modern international legal order has tended to evolve desultorily and reactively to political events, and without sufficient regard to any underlying philosophical principles or informing corpus of scientific knowledge. Insofar as it rests upon any intellectual foundations at all, these are essentially the speculations and assumptions of the eighteenth century European Enlightenment, which, despite their manifest inadequacies, have never been seriously re-examined. Accordingly, while the public international legal system contains numerous rules and principles designed for the protection of both humans and other life-forms, and at the individual and the collective levels alike, there is very little sign of coherence, coordination or due comparative cogency amongst them, resulting in a legal order that is fragmented and insufficiently effective – indeed, in certain respects positively counter-productive. Yet, through a scientifically and philosophically informed examination of these rules, and of the values that appear to underpin them – above all, the concept of dignity – it should now be possible to initiate the development of a truly coherent and convincing bioethical foundation and framework for protection, in more faithful reflection of the qualities of rationality and conscience that we humans have always claimed to possess.

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Werner Scholtz

The legal and moral significance of animals has generated a considerable corpus of scholarship. The discourse in relation to the moral significance of animal interests is characterised by the juxtaposition of advocates of animal welfare on the one hand and animal rights on the other. In general, law responds to animal interests through welfare legislation, which regulates the ‘humane’ treatment of non-human animals in order to mitigate animal suffering. Domestic jurisdictions respond to animal welfare concerns through anti-cruelty legislation. However, animal welfare legislation applies predominantly to domestic and agricultural animals. The situation in relation to the regulation of wildlife, both on the domestic and international plane, differs considerably from the approach to domestic and agricultural animals. Legal scholars have criticised the lack of wildlife welfare protection. The views in relation to the ignorance on wildlife range from despair expressed by one commentator who argued that ‘wild animal welfare law is sparse, bordering on the non-existent at the international level’ to glimmers of hope in the recognition that international environmental law is not wholly agnostic in relation to this issue. It is, however, abundantly clear that wildlife law (of the majority of jurisdictions) as well as international wildlife law do not contain welfare protection as an objective but rather the focus of wildlife law is to pursue the sustainable use and conservation of wildlife law. This approach is indicative of the anthropocentric and instrumental ethic that underlies the disconnect between the objectives of animal welfare and conservation.