The issues are very current as the daily newspapers talk about diverse subjects involving animal treatment, rights and various stories. The topic has gleaned such importance that it is now a separate course being taught by several Faculties of Law across Canada. The first course in Animal Law was started in 1977 at Seton Hall Law School (USA).
Animal law is a combination of statutory and case law in which the nature – legal, social or biological – of nonhuman animals is an important factor. Animal law encompasses companion animals, wildlife, animals used in entertainment and animals raised for food and research. (wikipedia.com)
Animal rights are set by human behaviour. The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer? (Jeremy Bentham-English Barrister-1789) Animals in Canada do have rights. See the most recent developments here