The world rethinks its position
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
Animals are legally categorised as property in Australia, a legacy of the common law system that Australia inherited from Britain. Since then, however, scientific, philosophical and cultural views about animals have changed. It is thus sensible to reconsider the appropriateness of the property status of animals.
This article concludes that the justification for classifying animals as property is weak and it is therefore timely to initiate a dialogue about alternative legal classifications of animals in Australia. In particular, this article explores the lessons Australia might learn from developments in other countries, to ensure that the most effective mechanisms are adopted.