Los Angeles Animal Law Symposium

Jennifer Molidor

Much has been made recently about the shocking results of an investigation into taxpayer-funded experiments on farmed animals. Most people don’t know the degree to which the law fails to protect farmed animals, or the catastrophic impact of “factory farms” on our planet. That’s why this topic is so important to animal law, and why factory farms are the focus of  the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s very first symposium for its Los Angeles regional attorney network, on Saturday, March 28, 2015.

This cutting-edge event features top speakers in animal law, including ALDF’s director Stephen Wells, Ethan Brown, CEO and co-founder of “Beyond Meat,” Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red, David Simon, attorney and author of Meatonomics, Leslie Brueckner, senior attorney at Public Justice, 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, and T.J. Tumasse, ALDF Manager of Investigations. These speakers, and many others, will discuss the legal challenges and strategies for taking on factory farms.


Factory farms confine and slaughter 10 billion farmed animals every year. Chickens, pigs, cows, turkeys, and other animals are subject to filthy conditions, inhumanely intense confinement, and unimaginable suffering. Farmed animals are exempted by the federal Animal Welfare Act and excluded from many state criminal anti-cruelty laws. Birds are also unprotected by the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act, even though, in the U.S., they account for 90% of animals slaughtered. Worse yet, the animal agriculture industry defines what treatments toward animals are standard, and therefore “exempt” from the law.

This lack of oversight means that animals can have their testicles, tails, horns, beaks, or toes removed without anesthesia. Male chicks are ground up alive, and piglets are killed by slamming their heads on the ground. And the industrial agriculture lobby has been pushing to keep all of this secret, and hidden behind the windowless facilities at factory farms. With controversial and unconstitutional animal ag-sponsored state “ag gag” laws, the undercover investigations that document and reveal criminal acts of cruelty would themselves become criminal acts.

That’s why farmed animals need animal lawyers to fight for better laws and better enforcement. Please join us for what promises to be an engaging dialogue on this important topic at the USC Gould School of Law, in downtown Los Angeles. Attorneys can receive CLE credits for attending. We also welcome law students and other legal professionals.

Hope to see you there! Register today!

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