Animal Law Symposium 2017 Recap

Posted on May 22, 2017

On May 20, 2017 the Animal Legal Defense Fund hosted its third annual Animal Law Symposium in Los Angeles. This year’s Symposium focused on wild animals and how to protect them when human activity increasingly runs counter to the interests of wildlife. The sold out event brought together law students, attorneys and experts, all interested in improving the lives of animals in our society.

Panels discussed a variety of topics relating to wild animals and their place in society today ‑‑ from the current politics-driven model of “managing” wildlife by killing animals like coyotes and mountain lions to keeping wild species in captivity under the guise of “conservation”—to connecting the dots between animal agriculture and climate change. Finding solutions to these issues was also a focus for the expert panelists who shared ideas on developing a less human-centric and more compassionate approach to co-existing with other species as well as strategies that can be carried out through litigation, legislation, and regulations to help animals in those circumstances.

Keynote speaker Jo-Anne McArthur talked about her book and project, We Animals. For years, McArthur has photographed animals in the human environment to showcase how humans’ interactions with animals can often be abusive with humans using animals as objects. She has photographed animals in more than 40 countries and those images have been featured in almost 100 campaigns to end the suffering of animals worldwide.

In between panels and during the reception following the day’s events, attendees were able to network and exchange ideas on how to help wildlife in their own communities. Animal advocates and Animal Legal Defense Fund supporters journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell and actress Elaine Hendrix also attended the event.

We’re grateful to all of this year’s speakers, attendees and sponsors, Tatiana Freitas, Jane Unchained, RKD Alpha Dog, Beyond Meat, Aidikoff Law and an anonymous Animal Legal Defense Fund board member, for making this year’s symposium such a success.

Law students, attorneys and experts gathered at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles for a day of discussions on how to protect wildlife.

Wildlife photographer and keynote speaker Jo-Anne McArthur shared images from her project “We Animals”.

Dan Rohlf, Professor of Law and Of Counsel at Earthrise Law Center at Lewis and Clark Law School participated in the panel exploring a new paradigm of wildlife protection.

Animal Legal Defense Fund founder and “Mother of Animal Law” Joyce Tischler delivered the evening’s closing remarks.

Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells spoke about connecting the dots between animal agriculture and climate change – and the effects that relationship has on wildlife.


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