Dr Ian A. Robertson

BVSc LLB
Mailing Address:

P.O Box 55 James Cook University, QLD, Australia, 4811

I'm Ian Robertson!

Dr Ian A. Robertson has the unusual distinction of being both a qualified veterinarian, and a barrister (Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand) who has combined his training and experience to become an internationally recognized legal specialist on the subject of animals and the law.

Ian originally trained as a veterinarian, and ran a successful chain of veterinary practices in New Zealand. He simultaneously developed a media career as the face of veterinary medicine in New Zealand for almost 10 years through his work as presenter of all things animal as the veterinary presenter on a range of television programmes, penning columns for national magazines, publishing three books on how to care for pets, and appearances on radio every Sunday morning as a talkback host dealing with a host of owners questions from skin problems to behavioural issues.  A highlight of his veterinary media career came when he was chosen to be one of a select few television presenter’s for Fox Television (USA) introducing endangered species from around the world to camera.

Ian’s veterinary expertise coupled with the research for each episode, and his interaction with scientists and politicians alike, gave Ian unique insights as to how the law endeavoured to deal with competing stakeholder interests regarding animals.  So after completing the contract with Fox television he returned to New Zealand and completed a law degree with the specific intention of getting involved in the field of Animal Welfare Law.  He subsequently became an enrolled barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, and while working as a solicitor in general law, he wrote the course on animal welfare law which has since been taught in law schools and veterinary schools in both New Zealand and England.  Additionally, Ian has lectured and taught audiences including local government authorities in England, and online modules on animal law for the general public and professional groups.

Ian’s professional training and experience as a veterinarian, lawyer, businessman and media presenter enable him to provide practical perspectives and insights to the forums in which he participates. He is an internationally recognised expert on animal welfare law and in addition to being a law lecturer, educator, and consultant and conference speaker in matters of animal welfare law (and related areas such as biosecurity, food safety, and international trade). Ian is also the director of International Animal-Law, a member of the International Advisory Board of CIWF, and an external associate of the OIE (World Animal Health Organisation) Collaboration Centre (New Zealand).

Ian’s breadth of roles in governance and academia is complimented by his experience at the very practical end of animal welfare enforcement. He has significant experience working alongside prosecution/regulatory bodies in the United Kingdom, has worked as a PROSECUTOR for the New Zealand government (Ministry for Primary Industries) for almost 7 years, and has been engaged as a Prosecutor/Principle Legal Advisor on animal welfare criminal matters in Australia.

The combination of practical experience in jurisdictions around the world is the foundation to his global business GUARDIANZ (www.guardianz.co.nz) which provides consultancy and legal advice to global corporates, industry, governments and non-government organisations on national and international matters of animal law and related specialist subjects of biosecurity, fisheries, food safety and international obligations.