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United Kingdom: Government Publishes Public Consultation on Environmental Impact of Commercial Spaceflight

(Mar. 2, 2021) On February 10, 2021, the United Kingdom’s government published a consultation (survey) seeking the public’s opinion about the environmental objectives the U.K.’s spaceflight regulator must consider when determining whether to grant a spaceport or launch operator license, along with guidance on how the regulator must implement these objectives. The government acknowledges both […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Upholds Flemish Requirement to Stun Animals Before Slaughter

(Dec. 31, 2020) On December 17, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that a decree requiring that animals undergo a reversible (temporary) stunning procedure before slaughter is not an illegal infringement of freedom of religion as guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. At issue was a […]

France: French Government Announces Ban on Wild Animal Performances and Mink Farming

(Oct. 7, 2020) On September 29, 2020, the French government announced several measures intended to improve the welfare of wild animals in captivity. According to a speech delivered that day by Minister of Environmental Transition Barbara Pompili, the farming of mink for their fur will be banned by 2025. No new mink farms will be […]

England: Equine Microchip Law to Enter into Force

(Aug. 7, 2020) On October 1, 2020, regulations requiring all equines in England to be microchipped will enter into force in the country. The new regulations, the Equine Identification (England) Regulations 2018, revoke the Horse Passport (England) 2009 Regulations and introduce the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 into the national law of England. The regulations […]

China: Legislative Decision Passed to Punish Trade and Consumption of Wild Animals amid COVID-19 Epidemic

(Mar. 19, 2020) On February 24, 2020, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPCSC) passed the Decision on Completely Prohibiting the Illegal Wildlife Trade, Eliminating the Bad Habit of Indiscriminately Eating Wild Animals, and Truly Ensuring the Health and Safety of the People. The decision took effect on the same day. (English translation […]

Brazil: Government Creates Amazon Council to Protect Amazon Region

(Feb. 19, 2020) On January 22, 2020, during a meeting of the Council of Government, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced the creation of the Amazon Council and an Environmental Task Force to devise plans and actions for protecting, defending, and sustainably developing Brazilian forestry. Bolsonaro explained that the Council would be coordinated by Vice President […]

United Kingdom: Court Upholds Elephant Ivory Ban

(Jan. 8, 2020) On November 5, 2019, the High Court of the United Kingdom (UK) ruled against a claim filed earlier that year by a group of antiques dealers that the Ivory Act 2018 was unlawful. The Act had been enacted to prohibit commercial activities involving ivory in the UK. There were two primary grounds […]

Brazil: Brazilian President Signs Decree Authorizing Use of Armed Forces in Amazon Region

(Sept. 19, 2019) On August 23, 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed Decree No. 9,985 (Decreto No. 9,985, de 24 de Agosto de 2019) authorizing the use of the armed forces to assist in fighting fires in the Amazon forest. Article 1 of Decree No. 9,985 authorizes the use of the armed forces to guarantee […]

England and Wales: Bill Seeks to Increase Animal Cruelty Prison Sentences

(Sept. 10, 2019) The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill was introduced in England and Wales on June 25, 2019, to increase the maximum sentence applicable to individuals who cause unnecessary suffering to animals. The aim of the bill is to deter cruelty to animals and ensure that judges have appropriate means to sentence individuals in the […]

England and Wales: Man Receives First Conviction Under the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act For Stabbing Police Dog

(Sept. 4, 2019) On August 5, 2019, a man from the West Midlands of England became the first person convicted under the recently enacted Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act for stabbing a police dog in the head while resisting arrest from the dog’s handler. The defendant, who was under the influence of drugs at the […]