Articles

Living Property: A New Status for Animals within the Legal System

David Favre, Michigan State University

Abstract

This article develops the proposition that non-human animals can possess and exercise legal rights. This proposal is supported by the fact that the legal system already accommodates a number of animal interests within our criminal anti-cruelty laws and the civil trust laws. To make a more coherent package of all the animal related public policy issues, it is useful to acknowledge the existence of a fourth category of property, living property. Once separated out from other property, then a new area of jurisprudence will evolve providing legal rights for at least some animals. This article establishes why animals should receive consideration within the legal system, which animals should be focused upon, what some of the legal rights might be and how the traditional rules of property law will be modified to accommodate the presence of this new category of property. Terms: animal law, property jurisprudence, animal rights, property, living property.

Suggested Citation

David Favre, Living Property: A New Status for Animals within the Legal System, 93 Marquette L. Rev. 1021 (2010)