First Specialized Animal Protection Law Firm in the UK Launched


Advocates for Animals (AFA), the United Kingdom’s first dedicated animal protection law firm, has officially launched in March 2019. The firm’s team consists of animal protection law experts that have worked with most of the main animal protection organizations in the UK.

Given the ever-growing interest in the UK in animal protection and the many ways humans use and consume animals, the time is right for a law firm dedicated to ensuring that the protections given to animals by legislation are honored in practice.

Every year in the UK, 1 billion animals are farmed and slaughtered, 4 million are used in research, 60,000 are kept in zoos, and millions of wild animals are traded and hunted. This is on top of worrying levels of cruelty against domestic animals. Like many other countries, the UK can be criticized for poor enforcement of animal protection laws. AFA will help charities ensure that the law is complied with in the way Parliament intended.

Cows at Hadrian’s Wall, near Carlisle, England. All of the UK’s animals deserve to be protected and have their interests taken seriously. Image credit Wolf Gordon Clifton – Animal People, Inc.

“It is a salutary thought that, because of technological developments allied to commercial secrecy and huge international trade, humankind undoubtedly causes far more suffering to animals than 200 years ago when a man could beat his horse to death simply because it was his. Lawyers can help redress the balance,” said David Thomas, Co-Founder and Solicitor of AFA.

Animal protection law is now a serious discipline, taught in universities and with a huge and increasing cadre of international and domestic legislation and agreements. It is, however, often underused by animal protection NGOs. It is essential that animal protection organizations make maximum use of the tools at their disposal, as environmental groups and many social justice organisations already do very effectively.

A red squirrel in Bin Forest near Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Image credit Wolf Gordon Clifton – Animal People, Inc.

Animal law practices already exist in other jurisdictions, for example the Animal Legal Defense Fund in the United States and Animal Justice in Canada. As the UK is often perceived as the global leader in animal protection it is only right that Advocates for Animals is added to this list.

Edie Bowles, Co-Founder and Solicitor of AFA, stated, “I am honored to be part of a movement, both nationally and internationally, that works towards giving animals the protection they deserve in law. It is crucial that the interests of animals are taken seriously.”

Advocates for Animals is a Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) authorized law firm. Further information, including client feedback, can be found at

Featured image: London’s Palace of Westminster, the meeting place of the two houses of the UK Parliament. Image via Pixabay.

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Advocates for Animals is the first UK law firm dedicated to animal protection. Set up by David Thomas and Edie Bowles, two solicitors with vast combined experience in animal protection law, the firm is supported by and works closely with the UK Centre of Animal Law (A-LAW). Advocates for Animals is committed to the creative use of the law – alongside investigations, science, lobbying, social and traditional media – to make a huge difference to the lives of animals. Click to see author's profile.

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