Animal Law Clinic at Michigan State

David Cassuto

From the email:

Animal Welfare Clinic

(for release 7 July, 2016)

 Michigan State University College of Law invites applications for the Director position in its newly created Animal Welfare Clinic.

 MSU’s Animal Welfare Clinic will provide opportunities for students to learn the practice of law in a well-supervised and academically rigorous program.  The direct representation of clients is the core of the students’ experience in the clinic, and the clinic seeks to maintain a diverse and challenging docket.  With a core focus on animal law content, the clinic will select cases with attention to pedagogical concerns, community need, and the need to provide students with opportunities to engage as attorneys in a variety of contexts. This clinic will service individual clients with a variety of individual animal legal issues as well as clients who raise public policy questions about the use of animals in our society. The Clinic will seek out cases which will use the courts to enhance the welfare of animals beyond present practices. The Director will be expected to be an active member of a major University with a diverse set of players with animal related interests. Additionally, it is expected that the individual will coordinate with national organizations and seek to provide leadership on a national level.

For all aspects of the Clinic, the Clinical Professor will work in coordination with Animal Law Program of the College, directed by Professor David Favre and the Associate Dean for Experiential Education, David Thronson, who will help create the program of the clinic.  The Clinic Director will receive an annual salary commensurate with their experience, together with generous benefits. This will be a clinical track appointment starting with the title of Assistant Clinical Professor.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Seaquarium Still Confines Lolita: Double Standard Created for Endangered Animals

Delcianna J. Winders, Academic Fellow, Animal Law & Policy Program, Harvard Law School

This piece originally appeared in the Sun Sentinel.

A Miami judge recently denied relief to Lolita, the sole orca at the Seaquarium, by creating out of whole cloth a double standard for endangered animals like Lolita who are held in captivity. As a result, Lolita will remain in the smallest orca tank in North America without the company of a single other orca.

Lolita-alone-ccorcanetwork
© Orca Network

The Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to harm, harass or wound Lolita. This broad ban includes a prohibition on significantly disrupting normal behavior patterns. Congress and the Supreme Court have stressed that it should be interpreted as broadly as possible, even to extend to seemingly harmless activities like bird watching if they might disturb the protected species.

It is beyond dispute that the Seaquarium’s confinement of Lolita disrupts her normal behavior patterns.

Orcas are highly social animals who stay with their mothers for life. Lolita was ripped from her family as a baby.

Puget Sound orca capture ©Terrell C. Newby, Ph.D.©Terrell C. Newby, Ph.D.

She hasn’t seen another orca since 1980, when her companion died after ramming his head into the tank, believed by some to be an act of suicide.

Still, Lolita reportedly continues to use vocalizations known only to her pod. When played a recording of her pod’s calls, she responded and returned the calls.

Wild orcas dive hundreds of feet and travel up to 100 miles every day. The Seaquarium confines Lolita, who is 20 feet long, to a tank that is just 20 feet at its deepest and 80 feet Continue reading