Navigating the International Legal Terrain for Animal Health and Protection: Specialist Agency or Framework Convention?
This article identifies and analyses key themes in the history of efforts to make international law an effective instrument for protecting animals and their health, as well as touching upon the positive spillovers this can have for human and environmental health. The pursuit of fragmented and inconsistent approaches has made animal protection a secondary consideration, at best, in international relations. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international non-government organisations (INGOs) have valiantly and persistently argued that there is a legal ‘gap’ in the protection of animals at an international level, but they have never had a strong institutional basis from which they could engage collectively and effectively with state parties. We argue that the adoption of a binding international instrument focused on animal protection would fill this gap and we evaluate one particular recent proposal: the draft United Nations Convention for Animal Health and Protection, sponsored by Global Animal Law.