October 25, 2012
Dear SAOVA Friends,
The 20th annual Animal Law Conference was held the weekend of October 19-21 at Lewis & Clark Law School. The event is a joint venture sponsored by The Center for Animal Law Studies, the Lewis & Clark Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
The conference began with a Friday night reception and Keynote Address, Persistence and Progress in Animal Law, presented by Nancy Perry, senior vice president of government relations, ASPCA, and former VP of Government Affairs, HSUS. Saturday’s Keynote Address, Animal Welfare in a Livable Community, was presented by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3).
A very full panel of speakers provided attendees with the latest developments in both state and federal
legislation; highlights of recent animal law litigation; and the effect of Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) on the civil liberties of animal rights activists.
SAMPLE PROGRAM SUMMARIES Ag-gag Laws: Suppressing Speech and Activism. Presented by Lewis Bollard, law student, Yale Law School; and Will Potter, reporter, Green is the New Red. Video footage of factory farms can be a valuable tool for animal advocates but often ag-gag laws criminalize such videos. The panel will give a status report of ag-gag laws and pending bills around the country and discuss legal challenges and grassroots solutions.
Animal Rights Isolationism vs Pragmatic Politics. Presented by Pamela Frasch, assistant dean, Animal Law Program Lewis & Clark; and Joyce Tischler, founder and general counsel, Animal Legal Defense Fund. Should animal rights activists compromise deeply held positions to achieve more limited goals in cooperation with the very industries they seek to change? Is the movement being co-opted by forces seeking to neutralize its effectiveness or is compromise the only way to bring about change?
Protecting Wildlife: Lessons Learned from the Environmental Law Movement. Presented by Ralph Henry, deputy director, Animal Protection Litigation, HSUS; and Daniel Rohlf, professor of law and of counsel, Earthrise Law Center, Lewis & Clark Law School.
The panel will shed light on the current issues surrounding the wildlife law movement, the overlapping concerns of the environmental and animal law movement, and will explain how both movements can learn from one another to advance their respective goals.
Learning from Difficult Cases: Tilikum v. SeaWorld. Presented by Kathy Hessler, director and clinical professor of law, Lewis & Clark Law School; and Jeff Kerr, general counsel and vice president of corporate affairs, PETA Foundation. Difficult strategic decisions need to be made when bringing creative lawsuits to benefit animals. This panel will address the legal foundations for the “Tilikum” case and explore the strategic decision-making involved in filing this case that asked for protection against and direct recognition of the harm suffered by the orcas at SeaWorld. This is juxtaposed with cases where courts are asked to address the harm suffered by
humans who feel injured by harm to animals.
CENTER ANNOUNCES NEW MASTERS DEGREE IN ANIMAL LAW
The Center for Animal Law Studies in collaboration with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, describes itself as an animal law think tank and the umbrella organization of the nation’s premier animal law program working to
create the next generation of animal law attorneys. According to their brochure, “An animal law education is invaluable. Animal law encompasses all the traditional areas of law in addition to cutting-edge law and policy issues emerging in the field such as factory farming, criminal prosecutions, animal testing or the link between violence against animals and violence against humans. In the course of your legal career, it is no longer a matter of if an animal law case crosses your desk. It is only a matter of when.”
Lewis & Clark Law School recently announced their launch of the first-ever Animal Law LL.M. class in the fall of 2012. “The new LL.M. degree program marks another historic milestone in the evolution of animal law,” Pamela Frasch, assistant dean of the Animal Law Program and executive director of the Center for Animal Law Studies, said.
ONGOING PROJECTS OF THE CENTER
- Working with Farm Sanctuary to address the lack of enforcement of the Poultry Products Inspection
Act and asking USDA to consider a rulemaking on methods of slaughter necessitated by the exclusion of poultry from the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act
- Developing a compilation of letters outlining anti-cruelty laws to assist in prosecutions that will be sent to prosecutors in every state
- Evaluating laws addressing animals used in testing and for food
Today there are 142 law schools in the U.S. and Canada that have offered a course in animal law. In 2000 there were only 12 Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters. Ten years later, SALDF chapters have been formed at more than 160 schools (including the top ten law schools in the U.S.). ALDF compares animal
law today to the emergent environmental law movement thirty years ago.
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