Documentary explores 200-year-old milestone legislation protecting animals

The world’s first ever piece of animal protection legislation introduced 200 years ago today (Friday 22 July) is to be marked as part of an international documentary by a north-east academic.

The University of Sunderland’s Dr Alex Lockwood was commissioned to create the audio documentary, by the US-based Culture and Animals Foundation, examining the past, present and future impact of Martin’s Act on its 200th anniversary.

In 1822 Parliament passed the first legislation protecting animals from deliberate acts of cruelty, the first law in the UK to protect animals and one of the earliest in the world. Known as Martin’s Act, after its sponsor, Richard Martin MP, it only protected a limited number of species from certain types of abuse, but was the first time legislation had been passed with the interests of animals. This act of Parliament was to the first of many animal anti-cruelty laws that would cement Britain’s reputation as one of the world leaders in animal welfare.

Through interviews and essays, the Martin’s Act@200 documentary directed by Dr Lockwood, a renowned climate change activist and exponent of veganism, tells the story of Richard ‘Humanity Dick’ Martin MP, and the Act’s legacy over two centuries of animal advocacy.

The University Senior Lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing, says:

“This work is an invitation to imagine the next three decades of animal advocacy, and for communities around the world to consider what their demands might be, given the realities of the climate and biodiversity crises and the need to protect democracy, enhance resilience, and foster environmental justice.”

Dr Lockwood added: “It’s vitally important that any movement understands its history so that it can learn from the past and improve its effectiveness in the future. And it’s crucial to ask why there hasn’t been more done in the law for animals. Our aim is to inspire people to work with lawmakers, policymakers and politicians to improve the lives of all animals.”

The Martin’s Act@200 documentary, produced by the Culture & Animals Foundation and its Chief Executive Martin Rowe, and directed by Dr Lockwood, and can be accessed via the website: https://chart2050.org/

The audio documentary will also be promoted at an event at the British Library in November.

The bicentenary anniversary of Martin’s Act is also being marked by leading animal advocates, scientists and lawyers exploring at the Global Animal Law Conference, online, looking at how the law can secure a better world for animals, what has been achieved, and strengthening current animal laws.

Read more posts

Sage Group acquires US cloud…

17.08.2022

The Sage Group plc, a specialist in accounting, financial, HR and payroll technology for SMEs, has announced its acquisition of Lockstep, a provider of cloud native technology that automates accounting…

Read more

Leading digital agency appoints new…

17.08.2022

One of the UK and Ireland’s largest independent digital marketing agencies, Mediaworks, has appointed Alistair Hague as its group SEO director. Alistair joins the award-winning agency with over 15 years’ experience leading senior…

Read more

Atlas Cloud unveils new city-centre…

16.08.2022

Newcastle MSP adds four new heads following period of growth and outlines new service to change technology’s relationship with business. One of the North East’s fastest-growing technology companies, Atlas Cloud,…

Read more

RT @nocodenortheast 📢 Join us at our next meetup, "COLLIDE: No-Code Tools for Startups" where we'll look at some of the top no-code innovations for building websites, apps and internal tools. We'll also hear pitches from new startups looking for support from the community. mailchi.mp/bff75373aae7/n… pic.twitter.com/ocYAnhOsG2

Join our
mailing list