Will animal-welfare laws still be necessary after abolition has occurred?

Even after abolition has been achieved, animal welfare laws will still be necessary to ensure that members of other species who accidentally come into contact with humans can be safely returned to areas that are safe from humans.

Yes. Even after the meat, dairy, egg, vivisection, and other violence- and exploitation-based industries have been forever expunged from U.S. territory, and even after the legal status of all animals has been changed from “property” to “persons” such that the institution of slavery and “ownership” of sentient beings has been forever abolished in all U.S. jurisdictions, animal-welfare laws will still be necessary.

For example:

Returning adventurous animals to safety.  In a post-abolition world, other animals, such as the adventurous reptile seen in the photo below, will continue to innocently wander into human-dominated areas. Other species do not recognize anthropogenic, anthropocentric boundaries.  But crossing into human-dominated areas represents an extreme peril for virtually all other species.

Even after abolition has been achieved, animal welfare laws will still be necessary to ensure that members of other species who accidentally come into contact with humans can be safely returned to areas that are safe from humans.
Even after abolition has been achieved, animal welfare laws will still be necessary to ensure that members of other species who accidentally come into contact with humans can be safely returned to areas that are safe from humans. Photo courtesy of Jessica and Paul Dowell © 2017. All rights reserved.

Animal-welfare laws will, therefore, still be needed for establishing procedures for returning such animals to areas where they can be safe from intentional human violence—unfortunately, violent, animal-abusing criminals are likely to still exist even after abolition has been achieved—or from accidental human violence (e.g., being hit by a vehicle).

Habitat-protection and crime-victim-rehabilitation laws.  The “adventurous animal” case is but one of many examples of animal-welfare laws that will remain necessary even after abolition has been achieved. Other examples include (i) all manner of environmental-protection laws, those designed to prevent human encroachment on or destruction of other animals’ homes and ecosystems, and (ii) animal-refugee or crime-survivor laws, those designed to help find, rescue, rehabilitate, and repatriate animals who are victims of kidnapping, trafficking, and enslavement.  These crimes will, in all likelihood, continue to be committed against both humans and other animals, even after the Abolition Amendment has been passed.  Animal-welfare laws will, therefore, continue to be needed to ensure that survivors of such ordeals can safely return to a normal life.

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What is the “Violence Is Not Entertainment” (VINE) Act?

The “Violence Is Not Entertainment” (VINE) Act is a proposed update of U.S. intellectual property law.  Under the VINE Act, animal abusers can no longer establish, maintain, or enforce intellectual property (“IP”) rights in material that includes abuse of a live animal.

The VINE Act directly impacts two bodies of IP law at the federal level—copyright and trademark—and serves as a model for analogous legislation at the state level.  Drafting of a separate act abolishing patent eligibility for animal-abuse methods and devices is also underway.

COPYRIGHT

Materials described in 17 U.S.C. 102—such as still photographs, video recordings, or audio recordings—will be excluded from copyright eligibility if those materials record acts of animal abuse.  For example, property rights under U.S. law no longer attach to materials recording bullfights, dogfights, cockfights, horse races, dog races, animal sacrifices, vivisection, bestiality, or rodeo events, regardless of where those materials are recorded.

This portion of the VINE Act depropertizes only those materials that visibly or audibly record abuse of an actual, living animal.  For example, illustrations, animations, and computer-generated simulations of animal abuse are unaffected by the VINE Act.

TRADEMARK / SERVICE MARK

Marks for goods and services that necessarily require death or mutilation will no longer be registrable with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), and such marks that have already been registered will no longer be recognized as property under U.S. law.  For example, the USPTO no longer grants, renews, or otherwise recognizes registration of marks wherein the identified goods include dead body parts, such as fur, skin, bone, ivory, or muscle tissue.

The VINE Act does not restrict, encumber, or otherwise affect the creation, financing, production, possession, reproduction, distribution, transmission, hosting, storing, advertising, marketing, publication, sale, rental, loan, display, viewing, or consumption of animal-abuse materials. Rather, the VINE Act merely withdraws Congress-created intellectual property status from such materials.  Therefore, free speech rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are unaffected by the VINE Act.

An initial draft of the VINE Act will be published for public comments and editorial suggestions later in 2016.  Suggestions received from the public during the public-comment period will be reviewed, and the text of the VINE Act will be revised to incorporate such suggestions as appropriate.