Institute of Animal Law of Asia

Why Animal Law?

Animal Law is a specific branch of law that is aimed at the protection of animals and a relatively new field among practicing attorneys and judges. In some countries, a lot of cases have been initiated and filed with regard to various issues and threats that animals face every day. The purpose of animal law is to defend innocent and voiceless creatures through law, policy, and education. This field covers companion animals, wild animals, farmed animals, animals used in experiments, animals used in entertainment and captivity, aquatic animals, etc.

Animal Law is a combination of legal, social, environmental, and philosophical approaches. Besides the application of statutes and legally binding instruments, animal law is tightly connected to environmental, biological, and scientific factors.

Why Asia?

Asia is the Earth’s largest and most populous continent and shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa and the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe. Asia is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on the east, by the Indian Ocean on the south, and by the Arctic Ocean on the north, which shows us that Asia has a diverse ecosystem and variety of animals needing legal protection.

During our work, when we speak about Asia, we are referring to all Asian countries and regions, but we first focus on those with the materials we can get access to. We are referring to the countries that are geographically located in Asia but exclude some countries that are usually regarded as European countries, e.g, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey. We also sometimes address animal issues of Russia in our work due to its significant influence on certain Asian countries and due to its big part being located on the Asian continent.

The continent is divided into North Asia (Siberia), Central Asia (The ‘stan countries), Western Asia (The Middle East), South Asia (Indian subcontinent), East Asia (Far East), Southeast Asia (East Indies and Indochina). Research made in 2010 showed that 16 countries are extremely vulnerable to climate change, and Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka were among them.

Asia has the largest continental economy in the world and is considered the fastest growing economic region. Agriculture is more intensive than on any other continent given the widespread practice of farming both land and aquatic animals. Considering the rapid development of some countries, illegal hunting is rarely prosecuted. In some countries of Asia, exotic animals are consumed and companion animals are abused.

While the field of animal law is being grown in developed countries, developing countries have just faced the issues that a dozen animal protectionists raise. In some regions of Asia, there is no legally binding instrument that regulates animal welfare and animals are still brutally used and exploited without knowing that animals are sentient beings and capable of experiencing emotions. We focus on this particular region of the world to help raise awareness in more individuals about the importance to protect animals through law, policy, and education.

Global Participation

The Institute of Animal Law of Asia (IALA) focuses on raising awareness of animal law issues in the countries of Asia. But with those issues occurring around the world, global participation is necessary. Legal education on animal welfare is accomplished through conducting a comparative analysis between certain countries, where animal protection is strongly enforced and supported by legal sources. Raising the necessity to protect animals by means of law and policy can be improved through cooperating with animal organizations from all over the world. Uniting we can become the change for animals.

Are you interested in becoming our partner? Join our Alliance here.

“Everything starts from a dot.” - Wassily Kandinsky.