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Human-Animal Governance and University Practice in Canada: A Problematizing Redescription

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 February 2016

Laura Janara*
University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia, Department of Political Science, 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver BC V6 K 2C6Canada.


Each year through the practices of Canada's universities, vast numbers of nonhuman animals are caught, bought or bred, narrowly confined, manipulated and killed. These university−animal relations are governed by a state-based regime, the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC). Through the lens of critical public philosophy, I clarify the power that has constituted this governance regime and now sustains it, examining the regime's justifying claims, its practices that authorize universities and scholars as legally compliant and the related effects of its power. The resulting critical redescription reveals fundamental problems with the political legitimacy of CCAC governance and thus with the university−animal relations that it sanctions.


Chaque année, les universités canadiennes capturent, achètent ou élèvent, confinent, manipulent et tuent quantité d'animaux non-humains. Ces relations université-animal sont régies par un programme étatique, le Conseil canadien de protection des animaux (CCPA). À travers le prisme de la philosophie publique critique, je ferai la lumière sur le pouvoir qui a constitué ce régime de gouvernance et le soutient aujourd'hui, les justificatifs de ce régime et son existence qui garantit la légalité des pratiques des universités et des universitaires en vertu du pouvoir qu'il leur confère. La redescription critique qui en résulte révèle certains problèmes fondamentaux quant à la légitimité politique de la gouvernance du CCAC et, ainsi, de la relation université-animal qu'elle sanctionne.

Research Article
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2016 

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