Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Salamander is not an Animal

This sort of thing drives me crazy, though it's pretty common in the world of legalese. Here's the definition of "animal" for all Kentucky statutes:
"Animal" includes every warm-blooded living creature except a human being.
Sorry, salamanders, frogs, lizards.

My university's animal care and use policy defines "animal" as any living vertebrate, not including humans. So at least the academy gets it a little more right, but octopi still DEFINITELY aren't animals.

(On the latter, I was told that this is the minimally acceptable definition of animals for federal ethics standards. And the biologists who do research on invertebrates have absolutely no desire for the university's policies to reflect the obvious fact that octopi (or other creatures of that sort) are animals. Paper beats rock. Paperwork trumps truth.)

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