ANIML SC 3250RW - Animals and the Law

Roseworthy Campus - Winter - 2022

This course will look at the ethics and jurisprudence on the way humans think of and treat animals, the history and present status of animals as property, and the statutory and case law in which non-humans play a part. The course will involve visits to different animal enterprises in order to assess how the law works in practice and the effectiveness of enforcement in these real life situations.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ANIML SC 3250RW
    Course Animals and the Law
    Coordinating Unit School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
    Term Winter
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Roseworthy Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 10 day intensive course involving blocks of lectures and field trips (practicals); 3rd week allowed for assignment completion, preparation for and sitting of final exam
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description This course will look at the ethics and jurisprudence on the way humans think of and treat animals, the history and present status of animals as property, and the statutory and case law in which non-humans play a part. The course will involve visits to different animal enterprises in order to assess how the law works in practice and the effectiveness of enforcement in these real life situations.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Alexandra Whittaker

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate a knowledge of the basic framework of animal-related legislation in Australia
    2 Show how the law is applied to animals and animal-based enterprises
    3 Interpret and apply legislation to animal-based enterprises
    4 Show an understanding of the difficulties in creating legislation relevant to animals and animal-based enterprises
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    1, 2,3,4

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    1, 3

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Cao, D.Animal law in Australia and New Zealand. 2015.
    Recommended Resources
    Additional resources as available in the Roseworthy and Barr Smith Libraries Access to various animal enterprises, such as the RSPCA, Animal Welfare League, animal production & housing facilities.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will run as a 3 week intensive course of blocks of lectures in the first 2 weeks, with an average of 6-7 hours contact per day. The third week will be self study time to allow for assignment completion and preparation for and sitting of the theory exam.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In addition to the formal contact time required for the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), students should expect to spend an equivalent amount of time on non-contact study activities (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture topics to be covered during the course are:
    • Philosophical basis for Animal Law
    • The current legal status of animals
    • Overview of existing legal framework
    • Key provisions of animal welfare legislation       
    • Regulation of the treatment of companion animals
    • Regulation of the treatment of farm animals
    • Regulation of wild animal welfare
    • Regulation of animal testing
    • Animal rights movement
    • International law
    • Litigation & enforcement
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Hurdle Learning Outcome
    Online Quiz Formative & Summative

    1st week of course

    5% No 1, 3
    Legal case role play Summative

    2nd week of course

    10% No 3, 4
    Case Study Summative

    3rd week of course

    45% No 1, 2, 3
    Open Book Theory Exam Summative

    3rd week of course

    40% No 1, 2, 3, 4
    Assessment Detail
    Online Quiz (5%): Students will undertake an online quiz in week 1 of the course. The quiz will be comprised of multiple choice questions based on course content predominantly from days 1 - 2.

    Legal case Role Play (10%):
    Students will form small groups and perform a legal role play (moot) on a case given to them, or one of their choice. This tests the ability to use legal reasoning and argue based on the relevant law.

    Case Study (45%): Students will submit a 3000 word case study based on an example  provided to them. The students will be expected to discuss the case in relation to previous published cases and its relevance towards animal ethics & welfare. Students will be expected to provide critical interpretations and personal viewpoints. This will be due in the 3rd week of the intensive course – time will be provided throughout the course for assignment preparation.  

    Theory Exam (40%): Students will sit a 3 hr theory exam at the end of the 3rd week of the intensive course. The exam will be a combination of types of questions, including short and long answers.

    Late Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A mark of zero will be allocated to late submitted assessment.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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