First published in 1906, Payson Evans’ The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals was a pioneering work of great breadth chronicling cases of animal prosecutions through the ages. It captures astonishing scenes of the hanging of pigs convicted of murdering a child (sometimes dressed in human clothing first); animals deemed to have taken part in, or indeed provoked, acts of bestiality; insects that wantonly and devastatingly ravaged crops and vines and destroyed livelihoods in the process. The doubt as to the presence of souls in animals meant that they could not be excommunicated but only declared anathema and great debate raged as to the correct form of punishment for crimes committed and, to a lesser extent, the notion of guilt in animals. Including trials in Germany, France, Switzerland, England, Scandinavia and Russia, which date from medieval to modern times, the book Animals in court provides a fascinating insight into the bygone era, addressing important social and religious issues that remain as relevant today as they were in the past, such as animal rights and the death penalty. Poignant author's attitude towards the phenomenon of animal trials only increases the peculiar nature of the book and makes it really intriguing.


  • ISBN: 978-953-7177-93-5
  • Year of the edition: 2014
  • Number of pages: 216
  • Cover: paperback
  • Original title: The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals
  • Original language: English
  • Translation: Hrvoje Gračanin
  • Dimensions: 115x185 mm