Well, Cass Sunstein, Obama's head of the new Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) (i.e. his regulatory czar), thinks thinks animals should be about to sue people:
“[A]nimals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives, to prevent violations of current law … Any animals that are entitled to bring suit would be represented by (human) counsel, who would owe guardian like obligations and make decisions, subject to those obligations, on their clients’ behalf.” - From the introduction to "Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions", a 2004 book that Sunstein co-edited with then-girlfriend Martha Nussbaum.
He also thinks hunting should be banned as well as eating meat so I guess he'd agree with that researcher in the UK. Some people are just crazy.