Animals in Crisis: Using the Laws We Have, Getting the Laws We NeedPosted by Matthew Liebman, ALDF Staff Attorney on October 25th, 2010
On October 16-17, hundreds of law students, legal professionals, academics, and interested members of the public convened at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon for the 2010 Animal Law Conference: Animals in Crisis: Using the Laws We Have, Getting the Laws We Need.
The annual conference, presented by the Center for Animal Law Studies in collaboration with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, addressed a wide variety of animal law topics, including the effect of the Gulf oil disaster on wildlife, the suffering of primates in captivity, and the plight of horses during the economic crisis. The panels brought together a range of professions, incorporating the perspectives of practicing attorneys, legal academics, veterinarians, ecologists, and legislative advocates.
Highlights of the conference were the keynote speeches by Katrina Sharman and Dr. Sheri Speede. Sharman, who is corporate counsel for the Australian group Voiceless, spoke about the burgeoning animal law movement in Australia, whose rapid growth (due in no small part to Sharman’s work) is challenging the institutionalized animal cruelty associated with factory farming, live exports, and wildlife culls. Dr. Speede, who is the founder of In Defense of Animals-Africa, discussed her work with chimpanzees in Africa, including the story behind a famous and haunting photo depicting a grieving chimpanzee funeral.
This year’s conference sold out a full month ahead of time, reflecting the rapidly growing interest in animal law. Next year’s conference promises to continue Lewis & Clark’s tradition of hosting engaging and productive forums for the development of animal law.