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.

cows-cc-jelle-s-article-image-1200-630

Factory farms confine and slaughter 10 billion farmed animals every year. Chickens, pigs, cows, turkeys, Continue reading

Animal Welfare Trust Summer Grants

David Cassuto

From the email:

Animal Welfare Trust is currently seeking applicants for our 2015 Student Grant Program. The grant provides up to $5000 per recipient for graduate students to work on an independent research project under faculty supervision or for an unpaid position within an established organization. Internships can be for a summer, semester, or year-long duration. Applications are due on March 1, 2015. Animal Welfare Trust believes that we can make a meaningful contribution to animal welfare by encouraging students to work on projects that facilitate positive reform for animals. Details about the grant program, the application process, and information on past recipients can be found on our website.

Our particular areas of interest are farm animal welfare, humane education and pro-vegetarian/vegan campaigns (though by no means are we limited to these areas). Please pass this announcement on to any students you think may be interested and feel free to cross post as well.

If you have any questions, please contact me.
Thank you!

Ali Berman
Animal Welfare Trust
141 Halstead Avenue, Suite 301
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
914-589-6778
ali@animalwelfaretrust.org
www.animalwelfaretrust.org

Mayogate Controversy: Epic Food Fight Over Meaning of ‘Mayo’

Spencer Lo

Just Mayo

[Update 12/20/14: Unilever has dropped its lawsuit against Hampton Creek, without gaining any concessions in return. As public health lawyer Michele Simon observed, “It’s clear that Unilever realized its mistake and just wanted the whole thing to go away, and just in time for the holidays. It’s a fitting end to a colossal PR blunder.”]

Creating and mainstreaming superior food made solely from plants—especially one that cuts into a giant competitor’s profits—can get you sued: that is what Hampton Creek Foods, a vegan food technology company striving to create more sustainable and affordable food, recently learned soon after its eggless mayonnaise Just Mayo landed in national retail chains. Unilever, the owner of Hellmann’s and Best Foods, feeling it could no longer ignore Hampton Creek’s growing success, has filed a lawsuit against the start-up company alleging false advertising and unfair competition. Their central claim? Just Mayo deceives consumers into falsely believing that the eggless mayo product is real mayonnaise, when it is not, since “real mayonnaise” must contain eggs—according to both common dictionary definitions and the Food and Drug Administration’s standard of identity for mayonnaise. The deception, according to Unilever, allegedly caused it to suffer “great and irreparable injury” warranting injunctive relief and significant monetary damages. Continue reading

Harvard Announces New Animal Advocacy Program

David Cassuto

From the email... Brad Goldberg is a mensch of the first order.

Generous Gift from Bradley L. Goldberg Will Support Animal Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School

Bradley L Goldberg

Harvard Law School has announced that Bradley L. Goldberg, founder and president of the Animal Welfare Trust, has made a generous gift to endow the Animal Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School. By funding curriculum development, experiential learning, scholarly gatherings and exchanges, forums for discussion and debate, and the establishment of an Academic Fellows program, this gift will launch a new level of activity in animal law at the Law School and will enable faculty members, students, and practitioners to build innovative bridges between theory and practice.

“Once at the margins, legal questions about the status, interests, and treatment of animals increasingly take their rightful place across society,” said Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor at Harvard Law School. “Now is the time for the resources of tort, property, family law, environmental law, constitutional law, and legal change strategies to make a crucial difference in the lives of animals. We are thrilled that Brad Goldberg has chosen Harvard Law School to advance his visionary work and enable faculty, students, and practitioners to propel new thinking and action on animals and the law.”

Said Goldberg: “Animals have rights to experience a life of respect, free from unnecessary suffering, and the animal advocacy movement needs and deserves a new generation of leaders so that progress can continue. With its long history of pioneering legal theories to support social movements, Harvard Law School is able and willing to work with policy makers, regulators and society to increase protections for animals. This is a very exciting opportunity for the animal protection movement.”

Over the past three decades, Harvard Law School has broadened its curriculum to include courses, clinical programs and research centers that address the changing shape of law and society. The Law School launched the study of animal rights more than fourteen years ago, at a time when it was still an emerging field of law. In June 2000, Pearson Television made a gift, in honor of game show host and animal rights activist Bob Barker, to establish the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights at HLS. The Goldberg gift will enable the Law School to create and implement an expanded animal law curriculum and facilitate new partnerships among academics, activists and students. For example, students will have a greater opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience by assisting an animal protection group with an investigation or other project, or undertaking their own individual research and writing projects.

“Animals are important members of society, and the law has a significant impact on how they are treated, ” said HLS Professor Kristen A. Stilt, whose interest in animal law stems from her work on Islamic law and law in contemporary Muslim societies. “This gift will allow us to focus the attention of academics, policy makers, practitioners, and students on the most pressing problems facing animals today. With new collaborations generating new ideas, what we can accomplish is tremendous,” she added. Stilt joined the Law School faculty in 2014 and will direct the Animal Advocacy Program.

Goldberg, a New York resident, founded the Animal Welfare Trust in 2001 as a private operating foundation. The Trust provides grants to students and organizations, particularly to help grassroots efforts that have a compelling vision as to how they can make a unique contribution to the animal welfare cause. Goldberg said when he retired from the investment management business in 2001, he chose to pursue “his real passion: animal rights.”

In addition to the organization he founded, Goldberg serves as chair of Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART), an organization with a mission of teaching compassion and respect toward all living beings and the environment; as an officer of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food; as a trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Society; and as a trustee of the Cultural Institutions Retirement System.

In 2010, Goldberg helped establish the Animal Studies Initiative at NYU. The Initiative offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate Minor in Animal Studies (one of the first in the country), supports graduate and post-doctoral research and teaching, and presents a program of public lectures, conferences, and workshops.

During his distinguished 35-year career in investment management, Goldberg served as an executive vice president, portfolio manager, and chair of the asset allocation committee at Jennison Associates, a subsidiary of Prudential Financial.

Conference: “The Agricultural Gag Laws–Your First Amendment Rights, Your Health, Animal Welfare, and Our Environment”

David Cassuto

From the email — what looks like an excellent conference:

The Connecticut Bar Association’s Animal Law Section and Yale Law

School’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund are partnering to offer an

exciting conference on September 27th on “The Agricultural Gag

Laws–Your First Amendment Rights, Your Health, Animal Welfare, and Our

Environment. Speakers will include:  Amanda Hitt, Director of the Food

Integrity Campaign at the Government Accountability Project; Matthew

Liebman, Senior Attorney of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Litigation

Program; Alicia Wagner Calzada, Esq., past president of the National

Press Photographers’ Association and current Chair of the Advocacy

Committee for NPPA; Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the

United States; Taylor Radig, Social Justice/Animal Rights Activist; and

Paige Tomaselli, Senior Attorney for the Center for Food Safety. 

For more information and to register please go to www.ctbar.org, click

on  “Calendar” then on “Meetings/Events” and scroll down to September

27, 2014.

We look forward to seeing you at this very timely conference.

Thank you,

Suzan Porto, Co-Chair,

on behalf of the Animal Law Section and Yale Law School’s Student Animal

Legal Defense Fund

On Eating Your Pets

Seth Victor

dog sandwich

An article caught my eye this morning about a man in New Mexico who was charged with a felony for extreme cruelty against a dog. The man allegedly stabbed his girlfriend’s dog in the heart, and then marinated the remains of the animal in preparation to cook it. While animal cruelty is a crime in New Mexico, eating dogs or cats is not, and if the defendant is successful in showing he did not act cruelly, there is no consequence for killing a companion animal for food.

These types of cases crop up every once in a while, often accompanied by outrage from some segments of the population over the wanton nature of the act. As always, since the law codifies our social voice, some states have put laws in place to discourage this kind of behavior. In New York, for example, one may not ” slaughter or butcher domesticated dog or domesticated cat  to create food, meat or meat products for human or animal consumption.”

Continue reading

Live Tweeting Global Animal Law Conference

David Cassuto

Check it out.  #galcbcn

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