Animal law has developed rapidly as a specialized field of study and legal practice in recent years, and the variety of resources related to the subject has increased dramatically. Animals have been addressed in statutes and case law for decades, but more current legal and social issues have magnified the relevance of animals in society, which in turn has affected the law.
Animals were once viewed primarily as property under the law, but are increasingly recognized as sentient beings worthy of rights and protection. Animal law courses are offered at more law schools, and clinics, societies, bar sections, and committees devoted to animal law issues have evolved. Law reviews and journals have published more articles on animal law related topics as interest in the subject area has grown.
The field of animal law covers a wide range of topics and issues including: