The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals: The Lost History of Europe's Animal Trials by E. P. Evans

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Foreword by Nicholas Humphrey. Evan's book, published originally in 1906, describes with a brilliant mixture of wit and scholarship, the long and sorry history of these extraordinary trial, as they occurred right across Europe from the Middle Age up to the nineteenth century: caterpillars tried for theft; sparrows prosecuted for chattering in church; a cock burnt at the stake for laying an egg. the trials may have vanished, but many of the issues argued out in those mediaeval courts -- of people's relation to animals, and of the animals' spiritual and legal rights -- remain as pertinent as ever. 

London: Faber and Faber, 1987. 
ISBN: 9780571148936. 336 pp. 
Softcover. Good+.