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TitleAnimals, Biopolitics, Law: Lively Legalities
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Table of Contents
                            Cover
Title
Copyright
Dedication
Contents
Acknowledgments
Foreword “Life” and “the Living,” Law and Norm
Introduction: Lively Legalities
1 The Regulatory Life of Threatened Species Lists
2 Probiotic Legalities: De-Domestication and Rewilding Before the Law
3 Governing Jellyfish: Eco-Security and Planetary “Life” in the Anthropocene
4 Tracing Bacterial Legalities: The Fluid Ecologies of the European Union’s Bathing Water Directive
5 Crow Kill
6 Nonhuman Animal Resistance and the Improprieties of Live Property
7 Lively Sanctuaries: A Shabbat of Animal Sacer
8 Multispecies Families, Capitalism, and the Law
9 The Conflict of Human and Nonhuman Laws
10 Lively Agency: Life and Law in the Anthropocene
Afterword Lively Ever After: Beyond the Cult of Immateriality
Notes on Contributors
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Typically, the legal investigation of nonhuman life, and of animal life in
particular, is conducted through the discourse of animal rights. Within this
discourse, legal rights are extended to certain nonhuman animals through
the same liberal framework that has afforded human rights before it.
Animals, Biopolitics, Law envisions the possibility of lively legalities that move
beyond the humanist perspective. Drawing on an array of expertise—from
law, geography, and anthropology, through animal studies and posthuman-
ism, to science and technology studies—this interdisciplinary collection
asks what, in legal terms, it means to be human and nonhuman, what it
means to govern and to be governed, and what are the ethical and political
concerns that emerge in the project of governing not only human but also
more-than-human life.

Irus Braverman is Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography
at University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. She is author
of Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/Palestine (2009), Zooland: The
Institution of Captivity (2012), and Wild Life: The Institution of Nature (2015),
and co-editor of The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Geography (2014).

Animals, Biopolitics, Law
Lively Legalities

Page 123

102 Adam Reed

human-inflicted animal suffering. It includes the suggestion of examining
what critique might infer or project into the future: i.e., the contours of
law redefined to account for coexistent societies of human and nonhuman
creatures. In their own advocacy, members of the Scottish animal welfare
charity I have worked with share a version of this ambition, but for them
law is a more humdrum, opportunistic instrument for reaching their ends.
Along with investigative fieldwork, the charity heavily invests in parliamen-
tary and government lobbying, which includes formal interventions in
the process of lawmaking. Legalities may provide a template for change;
however, for the charity it is not what initiates or self-evidently begets an
animal turn. That always comes from within the individual human subject,
as a consequence of ethical feeling (Reed 2015), or from the individual
relationship between particular human and nonhuman animals.

Indeed, the charity’s attention is more sharply focused on instances of
law in action. This involves a strategic assessment but also an attuning to its
place within what we might term, following Valverde, different “legal com-
plexes.” To the charity, the latter always have a more-than-human dimen-
sion. Barry and his colleagues are very much aware of what Braverman
describes as the “particular configuration of human–animal relationship”
at play in various scenarios of legality (2015, 317). They recognize and
act in answer to the “specific temporalities, materialities, and legal pro-
tections” manifest by legal category and classification. Barry has an inti-
mate knowledge of the responsibilities that flow from law or license in
particular circumstances, about who is obligated to whom and when. This
involves not only the human–animal relationships implicated by law but,
in addition, those actively generated within the legal complex.

This chapter is not only concerned with birds designated as “wild,” but
also, crucially, with birds designated as “captive” or trapped. Part of my inter-
est in the particular crow kill incident that I described above is a focus on
entrapment itself, an event or moment in the life of the individual wild bird
that seems to alter its classificatory status in law and hence its relationship
to proximate humans (and animals). Unlike, say, zoo animals (Braverman
2012), crow capture is explicitly temporary or provisional; it is a condition
prior to slaughter or the termination of life. The terms of license require
gamekeepers to check their funnel traps every 24 hours and to kill trapped
animals as soon as possible. Nevertheless, it is for this brief period, between
a free or truly wild life and “unnatural” killing, that crows and other trapped
corvids on shooting estates most fully experience what it means to be gov-
erned or subject to the law. Entrapment may involve regulation and lead
to untimely death, but, I want to argue, it also opens a space in which the
crow, or at least the crow body, takes on the translated or assigned status of
another kind of lowly legal actor.

Page 124

Crow Kill 103

(Un)Witnessed Crime

It is a commonplace observation in government, legislative, and lobbying
circles focused on the management of Scottish countryside that particu-
lar details are notoriously hard to come by when offences against wildlife
occur. Indeed, in a much-repeated phrase, agencies speak of the challenges
of policing and prosecuting “unwitnessed crime.” In part, this is because
incidents often take place in remote and therefore hard-to-reach locales.
But it is also because enforcement agencies in this sphere are heavily
under-resourced; it is widely accepted that wildlife crime is not a top pri-
ority in the determinations of justice ministers or police chiefs. Such inci-
dents, for instance, were only relatively recently made a recordable offence
and remain inconsistently documented. More seriously, just 14 staff mem-
bers across Police Scotland are assigned the role of Wildlife Crime Liaison
Officer, and they operate with a mainly responsive rather than investiga-
tive brief; unlike their human-crime counterparts, these constables do not
patrol the countryside searching for wildlife crime. The issue of tracking
unwitnessed incidents can to a certain extent be offset by scientific instru-
ments for modelling the unexplained absence of species across the Scottish
landscape. Both government agencies and conservation bodies, for exam-
ple, rely heavily on consultative academic reports that run experiments to
assess the geographic spread and hotspots for crime against wild bird spe-
cies such as protected raptors, measurements based on the statistical idea
of ecological traps. However, these statistical standards cannot act as a legal
proof of offence or pinpoint individual culpability.

The perceived problem then is that no one (neither police officers nor
members of the public) tends to see acts of illegal or inhumane animal
control; in this regard, the crow kill observed and recorded by Barry is a
rare exception. Knowing or believing that incidents are happening but not
being able to observe them lends a strange undertone to discussions about
wildlife crime. It is in this environment of the unwitnessed offence that
Barry and other field investigators operate (Barry tells me that there are
at present seven individuals in the United Kingdom, employed or working
by contract for various animal welfare agencies; conservation charities also
hire or employ their own field investigators). As actors who are perhaps
uniquely available to see wildlife crime, their struggle is often centered on
getting others to recognize that they meet the appropriate conditions for
witnessing. It is the very dynamics of this looking and seeing in the light of
the law that draws out my interest in the lived relationship and conversion
between externalist and internalist moves.

As the careful testimony in the weblog post quoted right at the begin-
ning of this chapter emphasizes, Barry, and by extension the charity he
works for and its supporters, believe he has been on hand to observe a
wildlife crime. After the third person description of the crow killing, the

Page 246

Index 225

paleoecology 42
pastoral power 143 – 6; as exercise of

care 144; and zoos 144 – 5. See also
Foucault, Michel

“pest” animals xiii, 6, 12, 50. See also
classification, animal

Philo, Chris 123
political ecologies xvi, 39, 40, 48, 65 – 6,

73. See also ecologies
pollution: bacterial 82, 88, 89, 92;

blame for 92; control 67; laws 179;
sources of 80, 84 – 6, 89 – 90

posthumanism/posthumanity i, 3, 4,
6, 9, 40, 53; methodologies 4, 9 – 10;
ontology 53, 194

property, animal: and de-propertization
214 – 15; live 12 – 13, 119 – 21, 140, 214;
and ownership 4, 7, 44; rights 44,
157, 163; status 122 – 3, 126 – 7, 128 – 9,
136, 140 – 1, 182

Rancière, Jacques 11, 60, 62,
65 – 6, 69

Red List of Threatened Species. See
IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species

regulatory list 25 – 8. See also threatened
species list

reintroduction 49
resistance: “active” vs. “passive” 93;

anticipating and quelling 126 – 7;
boundaries 123; commodification
of 129 – 30; and entertainment 124;
everyday 117; by forces of water,
wind, and sun 93; forms of 122 – 7;
human recognition of 124 – 5;
individual 123; by nonhuman
animals 9, 12, 93, 117 – 19, 122 – 7,
128, 129 – 32, 206; responding to
127 – 8; and violence 122 – 3

rewilding 39 – 56; and biodiversity
conservation 46 – 9; and biosecurity
49 – 52; ecological engineers
41 – 2; exemptions from European
biosecurity legislation 51; nature
of 41; and welfare 43 – 6. See also
Oostvaardersplassen

rhinoceros (rhino) 19, 28, 156,
185, 216

rupture 8, 15, 199, 204; and continuum
5, 194, 196 – 8; and entre-moments
196, 202

sanctuary 9, 13, 124, 125, 135, 139, 140,
145, 148, 149, 150n5; paradoxes of
136, 146 – 8; VINE Animal Sanctuary
148; workers 118, 148

scientific list 28 – 32. See also threatened
species list

seagulls xviii, 85, 86, 87, 89, 92, 214
seas: as extension of territorial space

66; fluid movement in 67. See also
ocean

seductive list 32 – 3. See also threatened
species list

Shabbat: of animal and man 148 – 50;
of animal sacer 135 – 52

Shir-Vertesh, Dafna 160, 163, 168
siting water quality 85 – 7. See also water
species: as category xx; centrality

of 5 – 6, 48 – 9; as “currency of
conservation” 24, 46; “invasive” 6, 50,
65; keystone 8, 40, 41, 47; marine 64,
67, 73, 197; multi 8, 9, 13 – 14, 52, 53,
117 – 19, 129, 142, 155 – 6, 158, 166,
199; as ontological unit 10, 21, 23; as
“pests” xiii, 6, 12, 50; as “polluters”
xiii, xvi, xviii, 5, 6, 12, 80, 87, 90 – 2;
regimes 6, 60; vs. rewilding 47 – 8.
See also classification, animal

stem cells 70 – 1

thanatopolitics 23, 39, 186. See also
biopolitics

threat: emergent 68 – 9; nonhuman
animals as 10, 20 – 1, 65; to human
health 51, 61, 86, 88

threatened species list 19 – 36. See also
IUCN Red List for Threatened
Species; Natura 2000

Tilikum (orca) 124
Tony the tiger 136 – 8
trace / tracing 5, 9, 12, 30, 53, 80, 81,

87 – 8, 90, 107, 120, 164, 206 – 7, 213

Page 247

226 Index

transhuman justice 177, 186 – 8. See also
justice

traps, animal 12, 99 – 100, 102, 103, 106,
111, 113; snare 104, 107 – 10

turtle 2, 3, 28, 60, 64, 156

Valverde, Mariana 100 – 1, 102, 107, 111
Vera, Frans 42

water: bacteria in 80, 85, 90, 91;
Bathing Water Directive (European
Union) 11, 79, 81, 83, 87 – 92; open
139 – 40; quality 81 – 5, 86, 89, 91, 93

welfare: advocates 135, 140; and Animal
Welfare Act 138 – 9; charity/agency
99, 100, 102, 103, 113, 114, 203;
investigate/inspect 12, 104, 107, 110;
and law 51, 99 – 114, 120, 138, 145;
and rewilding 43 – 6. See also animal
welfare

Wilbert, Chris 123
wildlife crime 9, 12, 99 – 114; accidental

witness 104, 105; corroboration
105; ethical dimension of forensic

gaze 109; evidence gathering 110;
eyewitness 104 – 9, 111 – 2; forensic
detection 106 – 11; injustice 108 – 9;
internalist form of looking 104;
landowning class in Scotland 113;
legal evidence 106 – 7; observation
103 – 6; quality of witnessing 105;
speaking legally 112; tracing 107 – 8;
unwitnessed 103 – 5; witnessing 12, 99,
100, 104, 110 – 4

wildlife trade: regulation 155 – 6. See also
Convention on International Trade
in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITES)

witnessing. See wildlife crime, witnessing
wound (Deleuze) 195 – 6, 202 – 3

Yvonne (cow) 123, 125, 127, 130n1, 214

zoo animals 6, 102, 144 – 5
Zooland: The Institution of Captivity

(Braverman) 143 – 5
Zoopolis (Donaldson and Kymlicka)

181, 183

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