Res Publica

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 205–221 | Cite as

Trespass, Animals and Democratic Engagement

  • Clare McCausland
  • Siobhan O’Sullivan
  • Scott Brenton
Article

Abstract

Since at least the 1970s, one of the stock standard tools in the animal protection movement’s arsenal has been illegal entry into factory farms and animal research facilities. This activity has been followed by the publication of images and footage captured inside those otherwise socially invisible places. This activity presents a conundrum: trespass is illegal and it is an apparent violation of private property rights. In this paper we argue that trespass onto private property can be justified as an act of civil disobedience. We look at one particular type of justification: the use of information gathered through trespass in public policy formation. We then animate this analysis both with an historical overview of the effects of sharing information about animal agriculture, and with a specific case study of trespass undertaken recently.

Keywords

Animals Trespass Civil disobedience Public policy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare McCausland
    • 1
  • Siobhan O’Sullivan
    • 2
  • Scott Brenton
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Historical and Philosophical StudiesUniversity of MelbourneVICAustralia
  2. 2.School of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of MelbourneVICAustralia

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