Don’t think about (contagious) elephants: Whose job is it to combat and contain tuberculosis?

This piece originally appeared on Salon

As animal lovers mourn the death of iconic Oregon Zoo elephant Packy, who was euthanized because he carried drug-resistant tuberculosis, while also fighting against the Department of Agriculture’s recent assault on transparency, we’d be wise to consider the links between the two seemingly disparate events. Packy’s unnecessary death should be a wake-up call about elephant-borne TB, and we should honor Packy by demanding that the Department of Agriculture do its job and address this serious issue instead of protecting the industries that own — and some that exploit — these animals.

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Packy at the Oregon Zoo

Packy wasn’t the only elephant at the Oregon Zoo to contract TB. Last year, seven people were diagnosed with tuberculosis after being around infected elephants at the zoo. Other zoos across the country have struggled with the disease, including the Little Rock Zoo, National Zoo, Oklahoma City Zoo, St. Louis Zoo and Rio Grande Zoo. Virtually every American circus with elephants has a history of tuberculosis. Nine individuals contracted tuberculosis from a former circus elephant at a Tennessee refuge.

According to experts, tuberculosis is harbored by at least 18 percent of the Asian elephants in the United States — and 18 to 50 percent of Americans who work around elephants.

Many may think of tuberculosis as a disease of the past — I did myself, until two of my Continue reading

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Animal Law Fellowship!

David Cassuto

From the email…  Do yourself a favor: apply for this.

 

 

Farmed Animal Law & Policy Fellowship

2017-2018

 

 

Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Program is inviting applications for Fellowships in Farmed Animal Law & Policy for the 2017–2018 academic year.

 

The Fellowships provide opportunities for outstanding scholars and legal practitioners to undertake research, writing, and scholarly engagement on Farmed Animal Law & Policy that furthers the Program’s mission. We particularly are interested in applicants whose work focuses on the interrelations among animal welfare, human health, food safety, workers’ rights, human rights, as well as climate change and the environment.

 

We welcome applicants with a JD, LLM, SJD, or PhD who are interested in spending from three months to one year in residence at Harvard Law School working on an independent project. We seek applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds, academic traditions, and scholarly interests. Projects focusing on either domestic or international farmed animal law and policy are equally encouraged.

 

Fellows will receive a stipend of up to $5,000 per month. Fellows will be expected to participate in Program activities, contribute to the intellectual life of the Program, and are encouraged to organize one or more academic events related to their fellowship project.

 

The deadline to submit applications is March 25, 2017. To apply for a Farmed Animal Law & Policy Fellowship for 2017–2018, please submit the following materials via the online application form:

  • a curriculum vitae
  • a recent publication or a writing sample (approximately 25 pages in length). All publications or writing samples should be in English.
  • a research statement, not to exceed 1000 words, that: 1) describes the proposed work during the fellowship period. The proposal should outline a specific research project that can be accomplished during the Fellow’s residence at Harvard Law School; and 2) sets forth a specific work output for the completed project (e.g., book, article, database/website entries).
  • You will be asked to arrange that two letters of recommendation be sent directly from your referees to the Program via our online application system by March 25, 2017

. For more information on the Fellowship and application process, click here.

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Why I Sued the USDA

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

 
This piece originally appeared in The Hill.

 

As a longtime animal law practitioner, I’ve represented various parties in lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). But I’d never sued the agency—or anyone else—myself. Until this past Monday.

Like many, I was stunned when the USDA deleted thousands of Animal Welfare Act-related records from its website. The same day that the blackout occurred, law reviews opened up their submission season and I was gearing up to submit two pieces scrutinizing the USDA’s implementation of the Animal Welfare Act through close analysis of the now-deleted records. If the agency’s goal had been to stymie my work, it couldn’t have timed things better.

Of course, the records weren’t wiped from the website because of me. But why were Continue reading