References (6)



States of Exemption: The Legal and Animal Geographies of American Zoos

Irus Braverman

SUNY Buffalo Law School


Environment and Planning A, Volume 43, pages 1693-1706, 2011
SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-023

The paper explores the interconnections between legal and animal geographies as manifested in American zoos. On the one hand, law shapes not only the zoo's physical facilities, but also the very identity of zoo animals. On the other hand, the peculiarity of zoo animals — and of zoos as public spaces that display such animals — also translates into an anomalous state of zoo laws. The paper is divided into three parts. The first part demonstrates that, despite the numerous official laws that pertain to animals in various settings, exceptions and exemptions that apply to the zoo animal make it into an almost extralegal creature. The second part examines the laws that regulate the zoo's physical facilities, showing how — in this context too — the zoo is regulated mostly through variances and exceptions. The third part focuses on the zoo's self-regulating industry standards, arguing that they provide yet another reason for the peculiar legal state of zoos and their animals. Drawing on a set of interviews, conducted mostly with American zoo professionals, the paper explores the interstitial nature of law, space, and animals, offering a fresh perspective into, and a few interconnections between, the literatures of animal geography and law and geography.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: zoo laws, animal law, Law and Geography (Legal Geography), ethnography, animal geographies, zoo design, more-than-human geography, self governance, industry standards, coproduction of law/matter, states of exemption, state of exception

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Date posted: October 5, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Braverman, Irus, States of Exemption: The Legal and Animal Geographies of American Zoos (2011). Environment and Planning A, Volume 43, pages 1693-1706, 2011; SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-023. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2157181

Contact Information

Irus Braverman (Contact Author)
SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )
625 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-3030 (Phone)
716-645-2064 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~irusb/
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