Here’s how law’s sentient animal will change everything - again

In 1820, when Member of Parliament Richard Martin championed the idea of introducing laws to protect animals from cruelty, he was criticised, ridiculed and laughed at by fellow MP’s. However, following the persistence of early advocates like Richard Martin, animal protection laws were implemented to protect animals from acts of blatant cruelty (“animal protection”). 100 years later the law progressed by applying the principle of “prevention not just cure” to peoples responsibilities in order to protect animals from unnecessary or unreasonable pain and distress (“animal welfare”).

Each step in that evolution of animal law has reflected the changes in what society considered to be acceptable treatment of animals, and those changes affected every use of animals from companionship and entertainment, through to food production and research. Those changes have had an enormous impact not just on the lives of animals, but also on people in terms of their responsibilities, accountabilities, and liabilities.

It’s been a 200 year journey from no protection, to anticruelty protections, to animal welfare responsibilities. And the next monumental step is the change that will accompany the law's recent recognition of animals as having emotions, “experiencers of their own life” – or, in the language of the law, animals being “sentient”.

If you didn’t already know it, there are jurisdictions who’s law now states that animals are sentient. So recognition of animals as sentient is not simply a hypothetical debate - that reality is already "here". And while some people are catching up with debates about sentience, the fact is that there are already global leaders who have accepted that its inclusion will require an update of all current standards applying to the use of animals. So what is laws "sentient animal" going to change for people, society, industry, and animals - this time?

The 2017 Guardianz seminar series brings you experts from around the world to show you where animal law is going, and to let you know what the changes means for them, and for you.



Seminar Details

  • Date:
  • How:
  • Time:
  • Location:
  • 30 May 2017 - 2 June 2017
  • 2 Presentations per day
  • 12pm AEST and 6:30pm AEST
  • Online! - you just need your computer
    and Internet access

Seminar Cost

  • Standard registration fee (per attendee): $375 (AUS)
  • Charity registration fee (per attendee): $145 (AUS)
  • Student registration fee (per attendee): $145 (AUS)


30th May 12pm AEST Sydney time

“How do you want the law to define sentience so that it benets people and animals?”
Dr Ian A. Robertson Barrister and Animal Law Specialist, Guardianz Lawyers

30th May 6:30pm AEST Sydney time

“Will the sentient animal spell the end of factory farming? An NGO perspective.”
Philip Lymbery Chief Executive Compassion in World Farming

31st May 12pm AEST Sydney time

“Did you know that the new minimum standard for trade is going to recognise the sentient animal?”
Dr Kate Littin Senior Advisor, Ministry for Primary Industries (New Zealand), Animal Welfare Directorate

31st May 6:30pm AEST Sydney time

“What changes for the veterinary profession in treating “the sentient animal”?”
Dr Philip Judge Founder, VetEducation Co Founder, Global Animal Welfare Authority

1st June 12pm AEST Sydney time

“What changes for industry with the sentient animal?”
Dr Lindsay Burton General Manager, Veterinary Technical, and Risk Management at Fonterra

1st June 6:30pm AEST Sydney time

“Putting the sentient animal in a global model of animal welfare.”
Antoine F. Goetschel J.D., President Global Animal Law GAL Associations

2nd June 12pm AEST Sydney time

“How to help and protect the professionals who are trying to help and protect people and animals: Lessons from the trenches of domestic violence and animal abuse.”
Lila Miller Veterinarian, Vice-President American Society for Protection of Animals (ASPCA)

2nd June 6:30pm AEST Sydney time

“Tomorrow’s Technology: Getting the consumer up close and personal with the sentient animal.”
Daniel Goldsworthy Public Law Academic Victoria Law School



Dr Antoine GOETSCHEL : Animal lawyer, Switzerland

Antoine is a Swiss lawyer based in Zurich with a career focus on animal law. Antoine is widely known for being appointed as the animal welfare lawyer for the Canton of Zurich which was the first position of its kind worldwide, and where Antoine represented the interests of animals in criminal cases as a public official.As a specialist in the human-animal-relationship in Swiss and international law, Antoine has represented animal interests in cruelty cases and he fought successfully for the “dignity of living beings” to be protected by the Swiss Constitution and for animals to be recognised as non-objects in legislation. As one of the world’s leading animal lawyers and a pioneer in this field, Antoine’s experience and vision will undoubtedly prove to be an insightful presentation on the potential future of animal law.


Dr Lindsay BURTON, Fonterra, New Zealand

Dr Lindsay Burton is General Manager, Veterinary Technical and Risk Management at Fonterra. Lindsay graduated with a BVSc from Massey University in 1975 and spent five years in mixed animal practice. He joined the NZ Dairy Board in 1980, involved in animal breeding. This was followed by a period as Principal Veterinarian at Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC). Additional roles included the Director of National Animal Identification and Traceability, Principal Scientist Johne's Disease Research Consortium, and Chair of the MPI Farm to Processor Animal Welfare Forum.


Mr Daniel GOLDSWORTHY: Administrative Law, Victoria University Law School, Australia

Daniel is an Academic Teaching Scholar with the College of Law and Justice, and has several years’ experience as a lecturer, tutor and unit coordinator. He is admitted as an Australian Lawyer in the Supreme Court of Victoria. Prior to commencing work as an Academic Teaching Scholar, Daniel worked as a solicitor in civil litigation and property law. He has been involved with teaching at Victoria University since 2008, having taught subjects across both the College of Law and Justice and the College of Sport and Exercise Science.


Dr Kate Littin, BSc, MSc, PhD, Senior Advisor, Ministry for Primary Industries (New Zealand) Animal Welfare Directorate.

Kate is an expert who applies animal welfare sciences to policy, legislation and animal welfare risk assessment (for both domestic and international animal welfare standards). This work is across all uses and interactions with animals, from livestock production and companion animals to service and working animals and wildlife. She has filled professional roles for over a decade in animal welfare policy and standards (Home Office, UK and New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries) after ten years working in the animal research sector. Her responsibilities include development of New Zealand’s Codes of Welfare, and being New Zealand’s OIE National Focal Point for Animal Welfare.


Dr Philip JUDGE: Specialist in Veterinary Emergency Medicine, Australia

Dr Philip Judge is a veterinarian who is one of Australia’s leading is not just at the frontline of animal medicine, but at the emergency end of it where crucial timely decisions are critical to the well-being of the animal and owner alike. The veterinary profession promotes itself as societies “animal health and welfare specialists”. They are expected to be the animals champion, and the animal related expert who provides up-to-date advice that impact the well-being, safety, and life of animals. Philip is in a unique position to advise how the critical changes will recognise the experience of the animal


Philip Lymbery - CEO, Compassion in World Farming

A passionate animal campaigner, he is Chief Executive of leading animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming. Philip is also author of best selling book 'Farmageddon' about the impact of factory farming. With his lobbyist activities, he has played a key role in banning at European level some of the most cruel industrial farming systems. Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive Officer of Compassion in World Farming, underlines the biggest paradox of the food system


Dr Lila MILLER: Veterinarian, Vice-President American Society for Protection of Animals (ASPCA), USA

Dr. Lila Miller is a veterinarian who is recognised across the USA and internationally for her work. Her career has included being the Director of the ASPCA's Brooklyn Clinic, Vice President of ASPA specialist programs, and insights working on the National Board of Medical Examiners and the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, as a member of the executive committee of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, and on the New York State Board of Veterinary Medicine. She is the recipient of numerous awards including, for example, the Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award from the American Animal Hospital Association, the AVMA Animal Welfare Award, and the prestigious Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine who have distinguished themselves in service to the profession and their community. She continues lecturing, writing, and developing programs that shape the standards which affect the future of people, professionals, and animals across the USA.


Dr Ian A. ROBERTSON: Barrister and Animal Law specialist, Guardianz, New Zealand

Ian is an internationally recognised legal specialist on the subject of animal welfare and the law. Ian originally trained as a veterinarian. After 15 years working as a front-line clinical veterinarian and running his own veterinary hospitals, he added a law degree with the specific intention of specialising in the area of animal law. After working for almost a decade as a prosecutor and Statewide Specialist on animal welfare compliance and enforcement (New Zealand, Australia) Ian established Guardianz Lawyers and Consultants specialising in the area of animal law and related subject areas of biosecurity and food safety. He is a specialist advisor to organisations and corporates on matters involving animals and the law, continues to lecturer this specialty subject to law and veterinary undergraduates, and is the author of the book “Animals, welfare and the law”.