Roger work in progressAnimal law, as a distinct body of law has not long existed. It evolved not as law but more as custom, especially in farming communities around the world where order and rules for dispute resolution as those disputes would involve animals, were necessary.

If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. Exodus 21:28

700 B.C. Zeus established the following way of life for men: whereas for fish and winged birds it is common to eat one another, since there is no law among them, to men he gave law, which is by far the best thing. Hesiod (Greek poet) in Works and Days.

450 BC – The Twelve Tables


In the circumstances described at 450 BC – The Twelve Tables, the Roman law on animals began to take shape.







Justinian's institutes, 533 AD


The Roman law ultimately and singularly influenced the common law even as it is applied today, in terms of animal law. Roman was spread by the Romans as they conquered the territory now known as Europe. When they were ultimately pushed off those territories when the natives regrouped, those natives, the Saxons, the Gauls etc., mostly chose to retain the essence of the Roman law including the small body of animal law.




for centuries, the Roman law was an amalgam of the opinions of different influential jurists but finally brought together into one code by the Emperor Justinian, in 533 AD. See 533 AD - Justinian's Institutes.