New Animal Ethics Book Series

David Cassuto

From the email:

LAUNCH OF PIONEERING BOOK SERIES ON ANIMAL ETHICS

 

The publisher Palgrave Macmillan in partnership with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics is delighted to announce the publication of the first two books in its pioneering new book series on animal ethics: An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory by Alasdair Cochrane and An Introduction to Animals and the Law by Joan Schaffner.

 

The Palgrave Macmillan book series is jointly edited by the internationally known theologian the Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and Professor Priscilla Cohn, Emeritus Professor in Philosophy at Penn State University and Associate Director of the Centre. The book series aims to publish ground breaking work written by new and established academics from a wide range of disciplines including anthropology, ethics, history, law, literature, linguistics, political theory, religion and science. The series will provide a range of key introductory and advanced texts that map out ethical positions on animals.               Continue reading

Wind, Birds and the Power Grid

David Cassuto

Let’s be clear: Our hero favors alternative energy, including wind power.   However, nothing is all good and wind turbines kill birds.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that more than 400,000 birds are killed each year by blows from the blades of wind turbines.  And as the Department of Energy moves ahead with its (laudable) goal of transitioning the nation’s power supply to 20% wind power, measures must be taken to protect the avians at risk.  According to the American Bird Conservancy, the golden eagle, whooping crane, and the greater sage-grouse—face “especially severe” threats from wind energy and are most at risk from “poorly planned and sited wind projects.”  The American Wind Energy Association disputes the dimensions of the threat, claiming that “A reasonable, conservative estimate is that of every 10,000 human-related bird deaths in the U.S. today, wind plants cause less than one. The
National Academy of Sciences estimated in 2006 that wind energy is responsible for less than 0.003% of (3 of every 100,000) bird deaths caused by human (and feline) activities.”   Continue reading

Some Kangaroo News

David Cassuto

Kangaroos are routinely brutalized and treated as pests in Australia.  This from the email regarding some recent developments:

THINKK, the think tank for kangaroos, based at the University of Technology Sydney and supported by Voiceless, released two reports late last year examining the killing of kangaroos in Australia.

Each year over three million kangaroos are ‘harvested’ and over a million joeys are killed as part of the commercial industry.  This is the largest land-based slaughter of wildlife in the world. Continue reading

ALDF Scholarships for Law Students

David Cassuto

Heads up, Law Students!

From the ALDF website:

ALDF Advancement of Animal Law Scholarships

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) Advancement of Animal Law Scholarships are available to second- and third-year law student members of our student chapters and will be awarded based upon demonstrated commitment to ALDF’s mission, “to advance the interests and protect the lives of animals through the legal system.” Applicants should be committed to the advancement of animal law through active involvement with their Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter while in law school and anticipated participation in the field after graduation. Meet last year’s recipients!

A secondary goal of the scholarship is to ensure the recipient’s chapter will maintain active and engaged leadership. Therefore, scholarship recipients are encouraged to act as a SALDF advisor to their chapter for up to two years after graduation; this mentorship will help ensure continuity of the chapter and contribute to its ongoing vitality.      Continue reading

EPA Releases Emissions Data on CAFOS — Interpretation to Follow

David Cassuto
Here’s an interesting development: EPA has released data from a national study of emissions from CAFOS  that raise pigs, broiler chickens, cattle, and turkeys.  Of course, we don’t know how interesting it is because the agency has not yet interpreted the data.  If you’re of a number-crunching bent, you can see it all here.

Lewis & Clark Animal Law Clinic: Making Things Happen

Jill Gross

Earlier this week, The Oregonian, the main newspaper in Portland, OR, featured the work of Lewis & Clark Law School’s Animal Law Clinic.  Supervised by Professor Kathy Hessler, students represent non-profit organizations that advocate for animal rights and draft model legislation designed to protect animals.  This clinic, in only its second year of existence, is one of the few animal law clinics in the country.  Just one example of its outstanding legal work is its representation of Farm Sanctuary, an organization that fights for laws to protect farm animals from cruelty.  You can read about the students’ other inspiring accomplishments here.  We certainly need more of these clinics to enhance the legal services available to animal law advocates!

[Thanks to Gwynne Skinner of Williamette Law for bringing this article to the attention of the clinic listserv.]

AALS Animal Law Panel

David Cassuto

Ok, there’s much to catch up on and this will be the first post of several.  Let’s start with the AALS Animal Law Section panel held last Saturday in San Francisco.  The conference in general was quite good.  Despite a labor action at the main conference hotel, which caused many sections (including ours) to be moved at the last minute, and despite the session taking place at O-dark thirty (8:30 a.m.) on a Saturday, the session was well-attended by interested folk, many of whom were new to animal law. Continue reading

Rivers, Agriculture & Climate Change

David Cassuto

I’ll be a visiting professor at  Williams College this coming semester, teaching climate change law & policy as well as environmental law at the Center for Environmental Studies.  So, climate change has very much been on my mind of late.  This is not a new thing, of course.  I’ve blogged frequently about the relationship between animal law & policy and climate change and written more extensively about it elsewhere as well.  In addition, I’ll be talking about CAFOS and climate change as part of the animal law panel  at the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) meeting this weekend.

However, I recently stumbled on a new (to me) aspect of the pernicious relationship between industrial agriculture and climate change: the denitrification of rivers.  Microbes in rivers convert nitrogen to nitrous oxide (as well as an inert gas called dinitrogen).  That nitrous oxide then makes its way into the atmosphere where it becomes a potent greenhouse gas as well as a destroyer of atmospheric ozone.  Continue reading

Going Mainstream

David Cassuto

The good news is it’s becoming less and less unusual and more and more mainstream to do what we do.  The bad news is that the need grows ever greater.

From the Baltimore Sun:

Sheriff’s deputies knocked on Roger and Sandra Jenkins’ front door in Taneytown early one Saturday in January to serve a court paper to the couple’s teenage son. Within minutes, a chaotic scene unfolded, and the family’s chocolate Labrador retriever was shot by one of the deputies and collapsed bleeding in the snow.

The dog survived, but its owners say it is permanently disabled. The couple sued, alleging reckless endangerment and infliction of emotional distress.

Their lawsuit, filed against the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department in October, is part of a growing body of case law dealing with animal issues. The rapidly evolving field of animal law is not only being shaped by court decisions and new legislation, but has become a subject for study in law school. The University of Baltimore and University of Maryland both offer seminars in animal law.

Full article available here.

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