Canadian Animal Law By Victoria Shroff
From Book Reviews/Interviews

Author: Victoria Shroff

Interviewed by Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today / Animal Emotions

Publisher: Lexis/Nexis Canada

Canadian Animal Law
Canadian Animal Law
Available at Lexis/Nexis
ISBN/ISSN: 9780433507017


A new book shows how laws protecting animals have broad legal impacts.

I recently learned of a wide-ranging book by award-winning Canadian lawyer and educator Victoria Shroff titled Canadian Animal Law that caught my interest because it clearly shows how laws that apply to nonhuman animals (animals) "intersect with more mainstream practice areas, including family law, criminal law, wills and estates, environmental law and professional liability." Her book made me think about other pieces I've done with lawyers that show just how interconnected animal law is with many different aspects of the ways in which humans live with nonhumans. Here's what Shroff had to say about her landmark book.

Why did you write Canadian Animal Law?

I wrote Canadian Animal Law for animals, to bring their pressing legal issues to light, to examine how their lives as sentient beings can be improved and protected under the law. It was time. In the book, I address concerns of all animals—companion, farmed, wild, and captive animals—and have a short section on aquatic beings.



About the Author

According to pioneer animal law educator and practitioner, Victoria Shroff, animal law today is in a similar position as environmental law was 30 years ago: it’s recently emerged from a fringe practice area into a discipline in its own right. In Canada, Shroff is playing a leading role in that evolution as she advocates for a shift away from the long-held view of animals being merely a form of property under the law. As part of her practice and teaching, she aims to secure access to justice for animals, she has written this ground-breaking text, Canadian Animal Law which provides an insightful look at the burgeoning field of animal law as it pertains to both companion and wild animals.

V. Victoria Shroff, B.A., LL.B., is credited as being one of the first and longest-serving animal law practitioners in Canada. Often referred to as a trailblazer, she has practised animal law in downtown Vancouver at Shroff & Associates (Shroff Animal Law) for more than 20 years and has been teaching animal law at UBC’s Allard School of Law since 2016. Ms. Shroff also created and taught the first animal law course for paralegals at Capilano University in 2019 where she is faculty in the School of Legal Studies. In 2020, she helped spearhead Canada’s first Animal Law Pro Bono Clinic. She also established and chairs the national Canadian Animal Law Study Group.

Ms. Shroff has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia and filed B.C.’s first landmark “dangerous”’ dog case for leave to appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada. In recognition of her contributions as an animal lawyer-educator, she has been a finalist for the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018; was honoured with a prestigious SEEDS award by the International Society of Animal Rights; was a finalist for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award 2021; was awarded a Canadian Bar Association Certificate of Appreciation; and was presented with a Hitachi Excellence Award for Communication. She has been featured in a wildlife documentary and is often called upon by major media to provide her opinion on animal law issues.

Ms. Shroff frequently writes about animal law issues for legal and mainstream publications and is a regular speaker at animal conferences and law schools around the world. She founded and runs an animal law and social literacy program in elementary schools called “Paws of Empathy” which she teaches with dogs. Ms. Shroff earned her B.A. with honours and an LL.B. at the University of British Columbia.

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