Dr Ian Robertson is an internationally recognised legal specialist on the subject of animals, welfare and the law. Ian originally trained as a veterinarian and had his own chain of veterinary practices providing services for owners of farm and companion animals. Ian became a media presenter on all things animal and developed an interest how the animal law impacted animals and people. He subsequently sold his veterinary practices and added a law degree with the specific intention of specialising in the area of animal law.
Ian has been litigating, teaching and advising as an animal law legal specialist for well over a decade. His frontline work has involved working as a specialist advisor in the United Kingdom and Australia, and many years working as a government prosecutor with the Ministry for Primary Industries in New Zealand.
His wider roles include being the director of International Animal Law, a board member of selected non-government organisations and regulatory bodies (e.g. the Veterinary Council of New Zealand, and the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations), and an external associate of the OIE (World Animal Health Organisation, New Zealand Collaboration Centre). He is also a law lecturer and published author on the subject of animals, welfare and the law.
With Ian’s experience regarding government and prosecution decisions, his firsthand insights as to the power role of politics, and the impact of courtroom outcomes on the lives of animals and their owners, Ian has taken the sometimes misunderstood and potentially controversial stand in being legal defense counsel and principal of guardianz lawyers and consultants (www.guardianz.co.nz). This specialty law practice provides consultancy and legal services on a diverse range of matters involving animal law, biosecurity, and food safety. Guardianz reflects Ian’s dedication to advancing the standards of animal welfare on the basis that “there’s an inseparable connection between people, animals, and their shared planet” and that “there are few things more reprehensible than a State appointed decision-maker who fails to comply with the law they profess to uphold”. Guardianz reflects Ian’s commitment to ensuring that all stakeholders – which includes animals, people and organisations – are fairly, knowledgeably and expertly represented. To Ian, “that’s fair, that’s right, and that’s what’s expected of real justice”