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date: 27 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

For all recorded history domestic animals have been considered objects within the legal system, classified as personal property, the primary focus being on what an owner can do with property or how an owner can protect property from intrusions of others or the government. More recently, our society has developed a new perspective, focusing not on the owners’ rights but on the animals themselves and what level of protection and concern they should be given, regardless of the issue of ownership. To aid in the process of giving animals more visibility within the legal system, it is necessary to remove them from the category of personal property and place them in a new category of “living property.” Once this happens, the allocation of legal rights to domestic animals can begin on a clean slate allowing the issues of animal rights and legal personhood to be directly addressed.

Keywords: animal studies, domestic animal, personal property, living property, ownership, animal rights, legal personhood

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