Teach Animal Law & Ethics at Colombo Law Faculty
Posted on June 2nd, 2014

Mr. Senaka Weeraratna, Attorney-at-Law and Buddhist activist, has urged that a course in “Animal Law and Ethics” be started at the Faculty of Law or the University of Colombo.

He says in a letter to Mr. N. Selvakumaran, Dean of the Faculty of Law, that this is a field that law schools in developing countries such as Sri Lanka can no longer avoid or ignore.

The subject of Animal Law is currently taught in nearly 80 law schools around the country in USA. This field has grown substantially in the past decade, in western countries and in our neighbouring country, India, where there is substantial litigation and reform legislation designed to help and protect animals that humans exploit for food, entertainment, and research.

In Sri Lanka there is notable activism on behalf of animals e.g. elephants, companion animals, stray dogs and cattle.

“I would also like to propose that the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, the Department of the Law Commission and the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo combine their resources and hold a Public Seminar on the subject of “Review of Animal Welfare Laws in Sri Lanka,” Weeraratne has said.

“Since the completion of the drafting of the Animal Welfare Bill by the Law Commission in 2006, there has hardly been any progress in this area in Sri Lanka and we find ourselves saddled to our great embarrassment and national shame with a piece of legislation enacted in 1907 i.e. the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, No. 13 of 1907, as the governing legislation on animal welfare. This is the most obsolete statute on this subject in the world.”

He has attached a list of law schools in the United States that currently teach Animal Law (or similar worded subject) as part of the law school curricula and copied his letter to the Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo, the Secretary of the Law Commission and several other individuals, and the Media who have taken an active interest in promoting the welfare and recognition of the rights of animals in Sri Lanka.

Courtesy: Sunday Island ( 2011)

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