Animals and the impact of trade (law and policy): a global animal law question

Iyan Offor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


There is a critical research gap regarding the trade and animal welfare interface: We do not know, empirically, what the impact of trade on animal welfare is. This gap exists, in part, as a result of the paternalism of international trade law and the underdevelopment of global animal law. This article addresses, firstly, the collision of dichotomous trade and animal welfare priorities in legal and political systems. It then explores attempts at reconciliation by the World Trade Organization and the European Union. This involves an investigation of the impact of trade on animal welfare. This impact is categorized into four component parts: (i) open markets, (ii) low animal-welfare havens, (iii) a chilling effect, and (iv) lack of labelling. Case studies from the European Union are examined. Thirdly, the article critiques trade law and policy as ill-suited primary drivers of global governance for animals. Global animal law is identified as a promising alternative, although its early development has been unduly affected by international trade law.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-262
Number of pages24
JournalTransnational Environmental Law
Issue number2
Early online date27 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • global animal law
  • trade law
  • international trade
  • European Union
  • animal welfare
  • animal justice


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