Publication Details

Borthwick, F. 2005, 'Regulating dogs, goats, companions and their humans 1898-1998: modern to post-modern pets?', in R. Julian, R. Rottier & R. White (eds), Community, Place, Change: TASA 2005 Conference Proceedings, The Sociological Association of Australia (TASA), Australia,


Franklin and White (2001) present the results of a content analysis on animal-related stories in the Tasmanian newspaper, The Mercury, over the period 1949-1998. The research was designed to test the thesis presented in Franklin's (1999) earlier publication. In summary, Franklin (1999) links the characteristics of a post or late-modern society, ontological insecurity, misanthropy and risk-reflexivity with their manifestations in animal-human relations. Based on Franklin's, and others, research pet owners are creating much more specific sentimental connections with their dogs and cats. This contrasts with how dogs and cats are regulated increasingly as a threat in need of control. In NSW pets, now 'companion animals', are regulated via many prohibitions on where they can be and what they can do in a given area. Using the characteristics of post -modern human-animal relations described by Franklin, as Franklin and White (2001) did, this paper examines the changes in the legislative regulation in New South Wales, over the period 1898-1998, of pets and their humans to see if they indicate a shift to a post-modern society. The acts to be considered are the Dog and Goat Act (NSW) 1898, the Dog Act (NSW) 1966 and the Companion Animal Act (NSW) 1998.

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