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Animals, Equality and Democracy


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While it may be true that nature is red in tooth and claw, it seems that for animals subject to human law – rather than the law of nature – life is much more like a lottery. For an animal, where you are born, and why you were bred, is critically important. This is because animal welfare laws in Australia and around the world are inconsistent. If a rabbit is bought as a family pet and then sold to a fur farm, the law will protect the same rabbit very differently. In this presentation political scientist Dr. Siobhan O’Sullivan outlines inconsistencies in Australia’s animal protection laws and explains why for animals it is critically important to be born good looking, popular, and highly visible to the community.


Siobhan O'Sullivan

Dr. Siobhan O’Sullivan is a research fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She specialises in animal protection issues including the structure and functionality of animal welfare laws. Dr. O’Sullivan has published widely on animal issues, including... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.