Living Property: A New Status for Animals Within the Legal System
An Animal Rights Article from


David Favre, Animal Law
November 2011

This Article develops the proposition that non-human animals can possess and exercise legal rights. This proposal is supported by the fact that our legal system already accommodates a number of animal interests within the criminal anti-cruelty laws and civil trust laws.

To make a more coherent package of all animal-related public policy issues, it is useful to acknowledge the existence of a fourth category of property, living property. Once separated out from other property, a new area of jurisprudence will evolve, providing legal rights for at least some animals.

This Article establishes why animals should receive consideration within the legal system, which animals should be focused upon, what some of the legal rights might be, and how the traditional rules of property law will be modified to accommodate the presence of this new category of property.

Go here to read the entire article in PDF format!

David Favre, Professor
Editor-in-Chief, Animal Legal & Historical Web Center, Animal Law
Michigan State University College of Law
(517) 432-6890

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