The Animal Rights Law Reporter – It All Started Here!

i April 16, 2017

We are pleased to announce that the Animal Rights Law Reporter, – founded
and edited by Professor Henry Mark Holzer, and published by International Society for Animal Rights – is now part of the online collection of the Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University College of Law.

The area of animal law as a distinct legal practice in the United States was conceived by
ISAR’s chairman, Professor Henry Mark Holzer in the 1970s. Since that beginning, the interest of lawyers, law schools and the legal profession in animal law has burgeoned.

Animal law did not exist as a separate legal specialty until 1973, when Henry Mark Holzer, filed the landmark lawsuit Jones v. Butz, which advocated for the animals’ interest in challenging an exception under the federal Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act of 1958.

Professor Holzer’s lawsuit is credited with being the opening salvo in what is still the emerging field of animal law, which he actively promoted through outreach and by establishing a professional publication, the Animal Rights Law Reporter (ARLR).

The Animal Rights Law Reporter was published quarterly from 1980 – 1983. Each issue began with a segment entitled, “In the Courts,” which outlined significant court cases involving animals. The issues also contained a section for “In the Legislatures,” where recent animal-related legislation was discussed. “In the Legal Literature” gave updates on pertinent legal articles in the field. Finally, the Reporter provided a quarterly “Bulletin Board,” “Available Resources,” and “Editor’s Comment” from Professor Holzer.

The Animal Rights Law Reporter communicated developments in animal rights law, and kept its readers abreast of all current pending federal legislation which affected animal rights, as well as state legislation.

In the debut January 1980 issue of the Animal Rights Law Reporter, Professor Henry Mark Holzer commented:

“For this first issue, it seems most fitting to comment not so much on what appears, but on that it appears. No one reading the REPORTER needs to be told that, not long ago, the idea of animal rights law was viewed as absurd by all but a handful of people. Yet, in only the past few years, the idea has grown to the point where it is possible – indeed, necessary – to publish this Animal Rights Law Reporter. Consider fully the significance of being able to publish information about animal rights law in legal literature, in legislatures, and in courts. About the availability of legal pleadings, briefs, model laws – all in the cause of legal rights for animals.

Quite beyond the content of any specific piece of information in this, the first issue of the Animal Rights Law Reporter, its real accomplishment is that it has come into being. Hopefully, its existence signals a new chapter in the struggle for animal rights through law.”

You can read more about Professor Holzer’s vision for using the law on behalf of animals at ISAR’s – Another Milestone For Animal Rights Law.