NFP Animal Law Clinic Launches

The Fitzroy Legal Service and Lawyers for Animals have collaborated to establish Victoria’s first specialist Animal Law Clinic, providing free legal advice to community members and groups, in areas of law that affect animals.

The Clinic commenced in March this year, and was established in response to community demand according to the Vice-President of Lawyers for Animals, Astrid Haban-Beer. It will have its official opening on Thursday 9 May.

“Lawyers for Animals, a volunteer community organisation run by lawyers with expertise in laws that affect animals, has increasingly witnessed growing requests for legal advice in areas that affect animals, animal ownership, as well as issues relating to animal rights and advocacy,” Executive Officer at Fitzroy Legal Service Claudia Fatone said.

“We are aware that the best interests of animals regularly coincide with the best interests of humans and our community, and we are keen to help ensure that the law reflects community attitudes.

“We are delighted to be working with Fitzroy Legal Service to provide a practical response to an area of unmet legal need.

“Fitzroy Legal Service has witnessed similar trends, particularly in relation to laws around domesticated animals, including confusion around restricted dog breed laws.

“We’re very happy to be piloting this service. We think it will assist many people in our local community. There are a range of issues that we’ve noticed concerning community members and there is a need for specific legal information.

“The response from the community has been very positive. The collaboration seeks to not only provide practical legal advice for community members, but also provide community legal education and law reform projects, particularly in areas around animal cruelty and broader issues such as factory farming.”

The Animal Law Clinic operates every Friday evening between 6.30pm and 8pm, at Fitzroy Legal Service, 124 Johnston Street, Fitzroy. Appointments can be made by calling (03) 9419 3744. 

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