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Article

Animal Welfare Underenforcement as a Rule of Law Problem

Faculty of Law, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Academic Editor: Kendra Coulter
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111411
Received: 29 March 2022 / Revised: 26 May 2022 / Accepted: 28 May 2022 / Published: 30 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers of Animal Protection)
Animal welfare legislation is routinely underenforced by the state. This underenforcement has obvious and direct implications for the animal victims of cruelty and neglect. This article proposes that there are also less obvious constitutional implications of such underenforcement: it undermines the rule of law. This article constructs this argument from a review of rule of law literature and investigates the implications of underenforcement being a constitutional problem.
Many have decried the state’s underenforcement of animal welfare legislation because of the direct negative effects on animal interests. This article will advance the argument that such underenforcement has a much deeper societal effect because it undermines the rule of law. It does so by first, reviewing rule of law literature to advance the proposition that the state has a general obligation to enforce the law and, specifically, animal welfare legislation. It then looks to the practical issues that arise with the argument, specifically prosecutorial discretion and private prosecutions. Finally, it concludes that the state’s underenforcement of animal welfare legislation does indeed run contrary to the rule of law, and thus regardless of whether we have the interests of animals at the front of our minds, it is a matter that should concern us all. View Full-Text
Keywords: law; animal welfare; rule of law; enforcement law; animal welfare; rule of law; enforcement
MDPI and ACS Style

Rodriguez Ferrere, M.B. Animal Welfare Underenforcement as a Rule of Law Problem. Animals 2022, 12, 1411. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111411

AMA Style

Rodriguez Ferrere MB. Animal Welfare Underenforcement as a Rule of Law Problem. Animals. 2022; 12(11):1411. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111411

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rodriguez Ferrere, M. B. 2022. "Animal Welfare Underenforcement as a Rule of Law Problem" Animals 12, no. 11: 1411. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111411

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