The UK’s first specialised animal protection law firm is being launched today (4 March), following the ever-growing interest in the use and consumption of animals within our society.
Advocates for Animals (AFA) consists of a team of animal protection law experts who have worked with nearly all animal protection organisations in the UK, including The Vegan Society.
Every year in the UK we farm and slaughter 1 billion animals, a further 4 million are used in research, 60,000 are kept in zoos, and millions of wild animals are traded across the seas and hunted.
AFA will help charities to ensure the law is complied with in the way Parliament intended and that the protection given to animals by legislation is honoured in practice.
Edie Bowles, co-founder and solicitor, said: “I am honoured to be part of a movement, both nationally and internationally, that works towards giving animals the protection they deserve in law. It is crucial that the interests of animals are taken seriously.”
Edie also works with The Vegan Society to advise it on legal matters and to assist vegans who contact it seeking legal assistance.
David Thomas, co-founder and solicitor, said: “It is a salutary thought that, because of technological developments allied to commercial secrecy and huge international trade, humankind undoubtedly causes far more suffering to animals than 200 years ago when a man could beat his horse to death simply because [he or she] was his. Lawyers can help redress the balance.”
Animal protection law is now a serious discipline, taught in universities and with a huge and increasing cadre of international and domestic legislation and agreements.
While attitudes towards animal cruelty are generally more enlightened and there is less domestic cruelty, technological developments mean that things can be done to animals on farms and laboratories far from public gaze.
AFA highlight it’s essential that animal protection organisations make maximum use of the tools at their disposal, as environmental groups and many social justice organisations already do very effectively.
The firm is committed to the creative use of the law – alongside investigations, science, lobbying, social and traditional media – to make a huge difference to the lives of animals.
Advocates for Animals is an SRA authorised law firm.