ANIWERE investigates the theoretical foundations of animal law.

The project's particular focus is on analyzing what is termed the Welfarist Regime of Animal Law, which is dominant in Western legal systems. In the Welfarist Regime – named after the animal welfare acts in place in various jurisdictions – animals are treated as property but are protected from “unnecessary suffering” and/or “animal cruelty”. Practices such as rearing animals for food or using them in research aren’t thus prohibited under the Welfarist Regime; they are merely regulated. Combining doctrinal study of law, legal philosophy and rhetorical criticism, the project will produce a legal theory of the Welfarist Regime and in so doing improve our understanding of the current state of animal law in Finland and other Western countries whose legislations are built on the Welfarist ethos.

The project, directed by Dr Visa AJ Kurki, is funded by the Academy of Finland and by a University of Helsinki Three-Year Grant.