International Law, Domestic Violence, and the Intersection with Nonhuman Animal Abuse

In: Society & Animals
Sheena Swemmer Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg South Africa

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This article acknowledges the void in international law around the general protection of all nonhuman animals and suggests that the framework currently set out in inter- national law requires development. It will be argued that the idea of protecting certain vulnerable animals within international law be adopted and the definition of “vulnerability” be viewed in a less anthropocentric way to include groups of animals who experience vulnerability in different ways, such as companion animals who are victims of violence in the home. It will be suggested that due to the nature of domestic violence and its effects on numerous victims (women, children, and companion animals), inter- national domestic violence law must be developed to include all possible victims of domestic violence in the home who include both children and companion animals.

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