This Note discusses the social movement to confer legal protections and rights on animals in an effort to end their suffering in laboratories from invasive research. It argues that primates, in particular, should be retired to sanctuaries where they will be guaranteed a right to dignity and a life free from confinement and torture. Part I of this Note reveals a glimpse of the range of research conducted on primates, and offers examples of primates’ intellectual abilities and emotional capacities. Part II takes account of competing theory—animal welfare theory, animal rights theory, and feminist animal care theory—and traces the evolution of protective legislation. Part II also considers the status of animals as property, legal personhood, and legal standing as a means of gaining access to the courts to enforce protective legislation. Part III compares evolving societal mindsets in the context of the women’s rights movement and the animal welfare and rights movement, and analyzes protective legislation, specifically provisions of the AWA that relate to painful laboratory research. Part III concludes that current protective legislation is human-focused, inadequate, and wrought with contradictions.
Karina L. Schrengohst, ANIMAL LAW—CULTIVATING COMPASSIONATE LAW: UNLOCKING THE LABORATORY DOOR AND SHINING LIGHT ON THE INADEQUACIES & CONTRADICTIONS OF THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT, 33 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 855 (2011), https://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/lawreview/vol33/iss3/6