This is a great development and looks to be a very interesting meeting:
Who should attend?
Academic, court, and firm librarians will benefit from learning about this emerging area of law. Today, there are 104 law schools in the US and Canada (including Quinnipiac, Harvard, UConn, Suffolk, Northeastern, and Boston University) that offer course selections in Animal Law. In a few short years, these law students will be advocating for your firms’ clients, prosecuting animal cruelty cases in your courthouses or teaching in your law schools about this new area of law.
What is it?
The Animal Legal Defense Fund describes animal law as a combination of statutory and case law in which the nature – legal, social or biological – of non-human animals is an important factor. Animal law encompasses companion animals, wildlife, animals used in entertainment, animals raised for food, and animals used in research. It permeates and affects torts, contracts, criminal law, trusts and estates, family law, and international law. This emerging legal specialty reflects the changes in attitudes that have evolved over the past thirty years towards our animals, food, and environment.
More about our program!
We’re going to start the day (after coffee of course!) with QUSL Professor Gail Stern’s “Biophilia and the Bookworm.” Biophilia is the instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems as defined by Pulitzer Prize winner naturalist Edward O. Wilson. Professor Stern will discuss how the body of laws we have today evolved.
Following Professor Stern’s presentation, a panel will be about bioethics and the use of laboratory animals. Featured on this panel will be Dr. Herbert J. Van Kruiningen from the University of Connecticut, Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, and QUSL Professor John Thomas. Professor Thomas, QUSLs Health Law expert, will take a pro animal tack. While we can’t guarantee it, JT as he’s locally known, is a talented and erudite guitarist and may be persuaded to add a musical note to our day.
After our vegetarian lunch, we’ll have a panel on Connecticut law. Mr. Kerry Patton, a Quinnipiac law student, authored “Justice of Animals, the State of the Law in Connecticut” in the October 2008 issue of the Connecticut Lawyer. In his article Kerry discusses the link between violence against animals and violence against humans; in particular, the role animal abuse plays in domestic violence cases. Kerry will discuss the topics in his article for our panel and talk about ongoing legislative efforts to deal with this issue.
QUSL Professor David Rosettenstein will also participate on this panel. Professor Rosettenstein, a long time advocate for animals, will bring his passion and dedication to us in his discussion of the controversial leg hold traps.
Our third speaker on this panel will be attorney Eric Annes from the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. Attorney Annes will discuss open space initiatives and their impact on wildlife.
Our last speaker of the day will be QUSL Professor Linda Meyer who has both her law degree and a doctorate in philosophy from University of California Berkeley. Professor Meyer will bring a sensitive and intellectual approach to the issues involving factory farms and our food supply system.
Last but not least, you’re invited back to the QUSL Library for tours and refreshments.
We hope you’ll join us.