Animal Law

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The Octopus: Honorary Vertebrate?

Those of you who specialize in octopus law already know this, of course, but I just learned that at least in the European Union the octopus is treated as a vertebrate for certain legal purposes. If knowing this doesn’t seem…



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Chillin’ With a Owl: Followup

Here’s an update on the case of the two Florida men who posted a video of themselves cavorting with a Great Horned Owl, which turns out to be a protected species. See “Men Filmed Chillin’ With a Owl Were Violatin’ Migratory Bird…



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Judge Attacked by His Dad’s Pet Zebra [Updated]

The original headline, "Arkansas Judge Mauled by Family's Pet Zebra," was pretty good and has a nice rhythm to it, but I thought it was important to be clear that the zebra-owning family was his own. This wasn't just a…


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President Adopts Potential Werewolf

In a lovely ceremony last week, the president of Argentina, Christina Fernández de Kirchner, became the godmother of Yair Tawil (second from left). Contrary to some reports, this had nothing to do with him turning into a werewolf. Not directly, anyway….


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Pet Piercing Will Soon Be Illegal in New York

At first I hesitated to post this, out of concern that it might prompt people to run out and get their pets pierced while they still can. But then I decided that anybody who would do that probably has either…


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Woman Alleges Vicious Beagle Slain by Noble Pit Bulls

But not before it bit her, and that's why she's suing the beagle's owners for over $200,000. First of all, I don't think this is one of those cases that involves the debate whether pit bulls are inherently vicious or…


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Copyright Office Weighs in on Monkey Pictures

In the draft of its new "Compendium," the U.S. Copyright Office has stated that it will not register works created by animals. The "human authorship" requirement isn't new, but the specific example of "[a] photograph taken by a monkey" is:…


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Fight Continues Over Right to Monkey Selfie


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As some of you may recall (although it's been three years, which doesn't seem possible), in 2011 we discussed an intellectual-property dispute involving pictures taken by a monkey. See "Legal Questions Raised by Success of Monkey Photographer (July 7, 2011); "In Defense of…