Protected or Not? Defining and Proving Protection for Disability Assistance Animals in Australia, Ireland and the UK
Posted: 16 Feb 2017 Last revised: 22 May 2017
Date Written: February 9, 2017
The role of assistance animals in society is becoming increasingly prevalent. Assistance animals play a critical part in enabling persons with disabilities to alleviate the negative impact of their disability, and yet the laws on this issue present a confusing state of affairs worldwide. In a conference co-hosted by the National University Ireland, Leeds University and the University of Queensland, the jurisdictional differences between Australia, Ireland and the UK in defining and proving protection for disability assistance animals was discussed. Through analysis of the current legislative framework in each jurisdiction, and despite having completely different anti-discrimination laws, the participants identified several common problems evident in all jurisdictions in defining assistance animals. The conference concluded in a discussion of the next approach that is necessary to adequately defined assistance animals in order to provide disabled persons with the appropriate protection from discrimination.
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