Animal Mobilegalities: The Regulation of Animal Movement in the American City

33 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2013

See all articles by Irus Braverman

Irus Braverman

University at Buffalo Law School

Date Written: September 13, 2013


The initial focus of “animobility” scholarship has been on the dynamic physical geographies of animals. This article extends the meaning of animobility to explore the ways in which animals are affected — and, in fact, constituted — by law, as well as the ways in which they affect and constitute law, which I call “mobilegalities.” Specifically, I ask how animobility in contemporary American cities translates into the animals’ legal mobility, and how laws can adapt to animobility and the ensuing mobilegality by setting “traps” that then immobilize the animals. This article demonstrates, finally, that law is not a static narrative that produces monophonic meaning, but a living process that feeds on, and depends upon, dynamic human-nonhuman assemblages. The different modes of classification discussed here — body, taxonomy, and law — provide a yardstick by which to think of the rigidity and flexibility of mobilegality itself, constituting a matrix for the mobilization of legality.

Keywords: animobility, mobilegalities, animal law, regulation, American city, law and geography, classification

Suggested Citation

Braverman, Irus, Animal Mobilegalities: The Regulation of Animal Movement in the American City (September 13, 2013). Humanimalia 5(1): 104-135, SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-001, Available at SSRN:

Irus Braverman (Contact Author)

University at Buffalo Law School ( email )

School of Law
528 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-3030 (Phone)
716-645-2064 (Fax)


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