International and Foreign Animal Law Research Guide

This guide helps researchers locate information on animal law in an international and foreign law context focusing on law that addresses welfare issues of companion animals, farm animals and animals used in research.


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Currently, there is no worldwide treaty governing the protection of animal welfare. The proposed UN Convention on Animal Health and Protection (UNCAHP) was introduced by animal law experts in 2019, but has not yet been adopted.

In 1978, the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights was presented to UNESCO. More recently, animal welfare organizations such as the World Animal Protection (formerly the World Society for the Protection of Animals) and the ASPCA are leading a campaign to gather signatures to present to the United Nations along with the text of the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW).

Another proposed text is the International Convention for the Protection of Animals from 1988. For further discussion, see “Movement Toward an International Convention for the Protection of Animals: The Further Adventures of Four Rabbits” by D.S. Favre (in Animal Welfare and the Law (1989)).

The European Union has regional treaties on certain issues relating to animal welfare—for further discussion, please see the section of this guide on the European Union.