Legally Brief: L.A. Animal Law Symposium

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF Executive Director on February 5, 2015

Legally Brief

Recently, we told you about the shocking results of an investigation of horrendous cruelty to animals used in taxpayer-funded, government-supported experiments. Farmed animals have so few legal protections, and industrial-scale agriculture or “factory farms” have such catastrophic impacts on animals, on us, and on our planet, that this topic is absolutely fundamental to contemporary discussions in the animal protection movement.

Law students and attorneys take note! Next month, ALDF is hosting the first symposium of our Los Angeles regional attorney network, on Saturday, March 28, 2015. This cutting-edge day-long conference on factory farms—and their impacts on animals, humans, and the environment—features top speakers in animal law, including yours truly, and:

  • Ethan Brown, CEO and co-founder of “Beyond Meat”
  • Will Potter, investigative journalist, TED fellow, and author of Green is the New Red
  • David Simon, attorney and author of Meatonomics
  • Leslie Brueckner, senior attorney at Public Justice
  • Carter Dillard, ALDF Director of Litigation
  • Kathy Hessler, animal law clinic director at Lewis & Clark Law School
  • Paige Tomaselli, senior staff attorney for the Center for Food Safety
  • Robert K. Rasmussen, Dean and Professor of Law and Political Science at USC Gould School of Law
  • T.J. Tumasse, ALDF Manager of Investigations

These top experts, and many other incredibly talented leaders in legal advocacy for animals, will discuss the legal and grassroots strategies being used to challenge and change the harmful impacts of factory farms.


Why factory farms? Industrial agriculture accounts for the confinement and slaughter of 10 billion animals every year. These animals are subject to filthy, dark, incredibly inhumane conditions, and unimaginable suffering—and few laws protect them. As “livestock,” they are even exempted by the federal Animal Welfare Act (chickens and other birds, for example, are not protected by the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act, even though they account for 90% of animals slaughtered in the U.S.).

We’ve all seen the egregious and horrific documentation of farmed animal abuse that comes from undercover investigations—animals who are not only confined in tight spaces and pumped full of hormones and their children taken away, but are also punched, kicked, thrown on the grown, and many other unspeakable abuses.

  • Did you know that the animal agriculture industry defines what treatments toward animals are “exempt” from the law?
  • Did you know animals can have their testicles, tails, horns, beaks, or toes removed without anesthesia?
  • Did you know male chicks are ground up alive, and piglets are killed by slamming their heads on the ground?

Animals need a new generation of animal lawyers to protect them—and to fight for better laws. For great dialogue on this important topic, join us at the USC Gould School of Law, a beautiful campus conveniently located in downtown Los Angeles. We hear the weather will be welcoming for those coming from colder climates!

Attorneys can receive CLE credits for attending. We also welcome law students and other legal professionals. Please join us!

Register Now!

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This symposium is presented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the USC Gould School of Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.

One thought on “Legally Brief: L.A. Animal Law Symposium

  1. Deborah Mitchell says:

    Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the symposium, but I am thrilled that you are calling attention to the horrors of factory farming. I am asked quite often when I don’t eat meat, and in an effort to not offend anyone if this happens at a restaurant during a meal, I simply respond that I’m opposed to factory farming, and that’s usually enough.

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