Increase in Animal Lawyer Programs Continues Says Igor Purlantov
Animal law is essentially a combination of statutory and case law in which the key factor being considered is the nature of animals according to animal rights advocate Igor Purlantov. The intent of animal law is to protect the belief that animals have a life of their own and as such should not be subjected to conditions that are inhumane. According to Igor Purlantov, animal law touches on some common areas of law such as tort, contract, criminal and constitutional law. It is common to have cases involving animals where the following issues may arise; veterinary malpractice resulting in health problems or even death; domestic violence and cruelty; and custody of animals during divorce or separation.
Animal law covers domestic companion animals, domestic animals raised for food or entertainment, and wildlife animals says Igor Purlantov. The demand for animal lawyer legal services where animal rights have been violated is increasing all over the United States, Canada and Europe. The caregivers of pets are demanding that the law treats their animals the same way humans are treated says Igor Purlantov. There has a been a rapid increase in schools offering animal rights courses, pointing to a trend whereby people are becoming more aware of animals rights and are pressing charges whenever they feel the rights of animals in their custody have been violated. This can be attributed to animal rights activists who have held sustained campaigns to promote animal rights and advocate for adoption of laws that protect animals says Igor Purlantov.
By the turn of the millennium there were only nine law schools in the United States with animal lawyer programs but today there are over 100 law schools in United States alone according to Igor Purlantov. This has been driven by a rapid increase in the demand for legal services in cases where animal rights are involved. Some of the institutions offering animal lawyer programs in the United States include Lewis and Clark Law School, the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania. The increase in animal lawyer programs has allowed pet caregivers to form trusts for their animals where upon occurrence of the caregiver’s death, a designated trustee has the mandate to take care of the pet says Igor Purlantov. This is a positive move towards treating animals as members of the family rather than just chattels with no feelings as was the case a few decades ago.
According to Igor Purlantov, the journey to create animal lawyer programs to help protect the rights and well being of animals has been a long struggling effort not unlike that of the civil rights movement. It is only recently that real gains are beginning to be realized due to concerted efforts by key players in animal lawyer programs that are fighting to ensure that there are laws in place to protect animals. The result has been the growth in animal lawyer programs in law schools says Igor Purlantov. Law schools are now taking advantage of this increased opportunity by offering animal lawyer programs that will produce competent and knowledgeable lawyers in the field of animal rights. The expansion of animal lawyer programs to meet the growing demand for legal services involving animals is a wise decision since it will benefit animals in the long run. Ultimately, all of these animal lawyer programs will help ensure that animals can enjoy the right to be treated with dignity and respect says Igor Purlantov.