Dogs and the Law
The field of animal law has drawn considerable interest during the past few decades. Human-animal interactions cause conflicts on an individual, local, national and international level and are increasingly subject to legal regulation.
The domestic dog has been man’s best friend and most loyal companion since antiquity. With a population spanning more than 500 million worldwide, dogs are the second most popular companion animal (after cats) on a global scale. Dogs play multiple roles in our society: They are our companions, they provide valuable services to the police and the military, they are trained to guard livestock and take part in sports, they work to assist us as guide dogs, hearing dogs, disability assistance dogs and more. Not all dogs are owned; many dogs are stray, abandoned or in shelters. Others are unfortunately used in experiments or illegal sports such as fighting.
Dogs are deeply integrated into human society, and the need for a set of laws that will not only protect them from harm but also promote their welfare is imperative. At the same time, it is crucial that legislation provides a framework that protects people from dangerous dogs.