This was a very interesting and enlightening talk provided by Professor Michael Radford. The evening began with an in-depth overview of the history of animal persecution in the United Kingdom. It was highlighted that though we may think of ourselves as a country of animal lovers, our past does not reflect this. Professor Radford noted that several minor changes in the law occurred at the turn of the century, but that it was not until relatively recently that the public has taken notice and changes are beginning to occur in a more significant way.
Having said that, Professor Radford argued that there continues to be a disparity in the way we treat animals and that this is largely because we continue to exert control over the animals around us. For example, a mouse may be subject to a number of different laws and regulations depending on whether it is a ‘pet’, an animal used in experimentation, a wild animal, etc. For this reason Professor Radford concluded that there is still significant work to be done in this area of the law and students interested in animal welfare law will find that the continued interplay between law and ethics provides a complex and burgeoning area of study.