The South African government, through the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), has expressed the intention of overhauling the current regulatory regime for animals through the drafting of a new “Animal Welfare Bill”. A working group has been formed to draft the bill which will bring together in a single statute relevant animal welfare and protection laws. As of February 2024, no draft of the bill has been made publicly available. Recent responses to parliamentary questions (in November 2023) indicate that a draft of such bill will be released for public comment in March 2024.

In 2018, the DALRRD released a socio-economic impact assessment study (SEIAS), now well over 5 years ago. The SEIAS indicates that the national strategic benefits expected to be derived from the modernised animal welfare legislation in the country include: better animal productivity and health; better food safety and security; better ability to access international markets for animals and animal products; desired outcomes of the National Development Plan (NDP) and Agricultural Policy Action Plan (APAP). The SEIAS thus frames the protection of animals in terms that are purely instrumental - units of production that exist purely for human benefits. Animal welfare is therefore only considered to be of importance insofar as it advances human economic interests, human health and economic development.

While human interests are of course essential, seeing animals in purely instrumental terms is inconsistent with the Constitutional Court’s recognition in 2016 that animal welfare is a deep principle of the South African Constitution and is connected to the human right to have the environment protected as well. The Court has also made explicit statements that the rationale behind protecting animal welfare is a recognition of the intrinsic value of animals as individuals. Accordingly, while the judiciary has recognised the need to advance the protection of the interests of animals for their own sake, the executive and legislature have yet to rectify their outdated approach and appropriately incorporate modernise their agendas and actions.

In response, three South African animal protection NGOs initiated the Animal Law Project in 2023 to create a platform for the animal protection sector to provide inputs as to what they expect from such revised legislation. The Animal Law Project presents its work as a united vision for an updated animal governance paradigm from the animal protection sector in South Africa in pursuit of justice for animals.

This webinar will explore the two different approaches, and analyse to what extent either or both give effect to the post-Apartheid transformation envisaged by the South African Constitution.


12 September 2024, 14:00 to 16:00 SAST

Who will benefit from this webinar?

All persons interested in the philosophy and ethics of animal protection, legal scholars, persons working in life sciences disciplines, as well as advocates for animal protection.


Tony Gerrans lives in Cape Town South Africa, and has worked in government, private business and the not-for-profit sector, primarily in the agricultural and animal welfare fields. As a Principal Planner in the Restitution Research Directorate of the South African Department of Land Affairs, he was part of the team researching and advising the post-apartheid Commission on Restitution of Land Rights on the legal validity of land restitution claims filed by victims of South Africa’s racially-based ‘separate development’ policy. He has also served as a trustee of the Humane Education Trust, the South African affiliate of Compassion in World Farming, and currently serves as legal advisor on the Cape Animal Welfare Forum. Tony is now working with Humane Society International as the Executive Director of African operations directing work across Africa which seeks to protect wildlife, farmed animals, companion animals, and animals used in testing. He has a specific interest in animal law, holds a Masters degree in Animal Law from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, and has presented on animal law topics at events in the USA, across Africa and China. Tony was a 2021 Centre for Animal Law Studies Ambassador and a Visiting Fellow at the Animal Law and Policy Program at Harvard Law School in 2023.

How much?

R780 per person

How to sign up

Complete and submit the registration form. You will then be given the payment information. Please note that registrations will not be considered complete until payment has been made.

One or two days before the webinar, we will send you the Zoom link. You will need to register and use a password to enter the webinar.

Registrations close three days before the webinar.

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