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Animal Law (minor subject)

Animal Law (minor subject)

Animal Law can be studied as a minor subject at Åbo Akademi University.

Why Animal Law?

  • The essence of animal law is that legal issues are examined from the animal’s perspective. Meaning that the legal issues is the same, but they are examined from a different point of view. This distinguishes animal law from all the other legal disciplines.
  • In animal law, we ask fundamental questions about, for example, the legal status of animals, how animal rights or interests are considered in legislation, how the law creates or anchors power imbalances and how these affects animals and us. We ask questions like how should we coexist with animals now and in the future?
  • Animal law is a new subject that overlaps with many of the traditional areas of law such as for example constitutional law, administrative law, and criminal law. This opens many different opportunities to work on interesting and significant tasks that are overlapping several areas of law.
  • All legal issues or conflicts cannot be solved by legal methods alone, and therefore animal rights are also characterized by being highly multidisciplinary. This creates beneficial networks for co-operation on tasks that concerns us all.
  • Animal rights are rooted in the interpretation and application of law but also explore legal theoretical and philosophical issues. This opens opportunities for deep dives into theoretical expositions.
  • The way humans use animals is intertwined with climate crises, biodiversity losses, pandemics, zoonoses and public health, in other words to our living conditions. Therefore, animal rights have an important role in the development of society and opens many opportunities for advocacy.
  • In sum, knowledge in animal law provides a good foundation in working as a lawyer, advocate, legislator, judge, or as a social influencer in various organizations.

Currently the Animal Law courses are mainly organized in cooperation with the Open University at Åbo Akademi University. The courses are conducted as online courses in English within the framework of the AniLex program. In addition, there are two courses in Swedish within Åbo Akademi University’s regular courses.

See more information in the Study Guide.

Contact us

Birgitta Wahlberg

University Lecturer 


Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics, and Law

Study Counselling at FSEJ

Study counselling at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics, and Law.