The British legal action to protect animals began with the passing of the Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act 1822 to Prevent Cruel and Improper Treatment of Cattle. The 1835 Act amended the existing legislation to include (as 'cattle') bulls, dogs, bears and sheep, to prohibit bear-baiting and cockfighting, which facilitated further legislation to protect animals, create shelters, veterinary hospitals and more humane transportation and slaughter. It did not extend protection to wild animals.
The law was passed in part due to lobbying by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (founded 1824). The Act was repealed and replaced by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1849 12 & 13 Vict. c. 92.
- Animal Experimentation: A Guide to the Issues Vaughan Monamy, Cambridge University Press
- The Rights of Persons, According to the Text of Blackstone: Incorporating the Alterations Down to the Present Time, Sir William Blackstone and James Stewart, 1839, p. 79.
- An Act to Consolidate and Amend the Several Laws Relating to the Cruel and Improper Treatment of Animals, and the Mischiefs Arising from the Driving of Cattle, and to Make Other Provisions in Regard Thereto
- “Rational Recreation” and the Law: The Transformation of Popular Urban Leisure in Victorian England by Rachel Vorspan
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