A law firm claiming to be the first in the UK specialising in animal protection is being launched today.

Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Advocates for Animals (AFA) consists of a team of animal protection law experts who have worked with nearly all animal protection organisations in the UK, including The Vegan Society.

AFA will help charities to ensure the law is complied with in the way Parliament intended and that the protection given to animals by legislation is honoured in practice.

Animal protection law is now a serious discipline, taught in universities and with a large quantity of international and domestic legislation and agreements.

AFA maintains that while attitudes towards animal cruelty are generally more enlightened and there is less domestic cruelty, technological developments mean that things can be done to animals on farms and laboratories far from public gaze. It believes it essential that animal protection organisations make maximum use of the tools at their disposal, in the way that environmental groups and many social justice organisations already do very effectively.

The firm is committed to the creative use of the law – alongside investigations, science, lobbying, social and traditional media – to make a huge difference to the lives of animals.

Edie Bowles, co-founder and solicitor, who also works with The Vegan Society, commented: “I am honoured to be part of a movement, both nationally and internationally, that works towards giving animals the protection they deserve in law. It is crucial that the interests of animals are taken seriously.” 

David Thomas, co-founder and solicitor, added: “It is a salutary thought that, because of technological developments allied to commercial secrecy and huge international trade, humankind undoubtedly causes far more suffering to animals than 200 years ago when a man could beat his horse to death simply because it was his. Lawyers can help redress the balance.”