Animal Law Symposium: Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City University School of Law
Room 509
800 N Harvey Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Friday, March 6, 2020

8:45 – 9:15 a.m. Registration & Breakfast

9:15 – 9:30 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Jim Roth, Law Dean, Oklahoma City University School of Law

9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Caged Cats and Privately-Owned Primates: The Captive Wildlife Problem in the United States

Daniel Waltz, Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Alicia Prygoski, Legislative Affairs Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

More big cats live in captivity in the U.S. than they do in the wild across the rest of the world. Primates are still subjected to painful experimentation. Animals languish in roadside zoos and exhibits. This panel will discuss what happens to animals held in captivity from various trades and the tools that attorneys have to help animals caught in these trades. Topics will include federal and state tools in attorneys’ toolkits, captive wildlife ESA cases, an update on the Joe Exotic case, and upcoming legislation to help protect captive wildlife.

11:00 – 11:15 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Pitfalls, Progress, and Possibilities: The Trajectory of Puppy Mill Regulation

Cynthia Armstrong, Oklahoma Senior State Director, The Humane Society of the United States

Emily Lewis, Senior Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

This panel will explore strategies that have been used to combat cruel commercial breeding and discuss the successes and setbacks that the animal welfare community has encountered in that process. Panelists will use specific states as case studies to illustrate what has been effective in addressing the existence of puppy mills, what methods have not worked, and what strategies are being pursued going forward. Panelists will challenge the audience to think about the culture of dog ownership in the country today and brainstorm what tactics have the highest probability of success going forward to address the cruel commercial breeding of puppies.

12:45 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 – 1:45 p.m. Afternoon Welcoming Remarks

Louisa McCune, Executive Director, Kirkpatrick Foundation

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.  Farmed Animals and the Law: Challenges and Opportunities for Change

Heather Hintz, Director, Phillips Murrah P.C.

Jamie Contreras, Senior Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Over ten billion land animals and trillions of sea animals are killed for food each year in the U.S. with little to no legal protections. This panel will discuss the current state of the law governing the treatment of farmed animals and strategies for ensuring that the few existing laws available are enforced.  Panelists will also discuss ideas for how these laws can be strengthened to minimize the suffering of farmed animals in Oklahoma and across the country.

3:15 – 3:30 p.m. Break

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. The Link: The Connection Between Cruelty to Animals and Violence Toward Humans

Kathleen Romero, Coordinator, Oklahoma Link Coalition

Chelsea Foreman, Assistant Shelter Director, Domestic Violence Intervention Services

Elizabeth Stoverink, Animal Advocate, Oklahoma Humane Society

There is an indisputable correlation between violence towards animals and violence towards humans known as The Link. Panelists will discuss what The Link is, why it’s important, and how it can be used to protect animal and human victims. Topics will include work being done with animal shelters and domestic violence shelters, reports of animal abuse that have led to the discovery of child and elder abuse, and the significance of understanding The Link for investigators, humane officers and the court system.

5:00 – 5:15 p.m. Closing Remarks

Kelly Levenda, Student Programs Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

5:15 – 7:00 p.m. Happy Hour Reception

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