Habeas News

David Cassuto

This is an important, potentially historic oral argument.  Go if you can:

 

 

Appellate Division, First Department, County Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument in Two Chimpanzee Rights Cases Filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project

The Nonhuman Rights Project will argue its appeal of the failure of the New York County Supreme Court to issue writs of habeas corpus on behalf of two captive chimpanzees, Tommy and Kiko, in a hearing at the Appellate Division, First Department, Supreme Court in Manhattan at or after 2 p.m. on March 16th.

The ruling that results from the hearing may determine whether Tommy and Kiko—both featured in the new HBO documentary Unlocking the Cage—will be recognized as legal persons with the fundamental right to bodily liberty or remain “things” deprived of even a single right. Continue reading

Animal Law (Visiting) Professor Job

David Cassuto

From the email:

VISITING PROFESSOR POSITION

CENTER FOR ANIMAL LAW STUDIES

at Lewis & Clark Law School

 

Fall 2017- Spring 2019

 

The Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School is now accepting applications for a Visiting Professor (VP) position. The position will run for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years. The position is in Lewis & Clark Law School’s premier animal law program at the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS). 

 

The VP will teach three or four animal law courses per academic year and have the opportunity to write at least one article or other scholarly piece per year. The VP will also have an interest and background in international animal law issues as well as the demonstrated cultural competencies necessary to effectively teach, advise, and mentor our international J.D. and LL.M. students.   Continue reading

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

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.

Continue reading

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

Will Ringling’s closure clear the way for federal circus legislation?

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

The piece originally appeared in The Hill

With Ringling Bros.—the most active and spendthrift opponent of legislation to protect circus animals—shuttering, it may finally be possible for bipartisan public safety and animal welfare efforts to succeed.

Introduced by Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Ryan Costello (R-Pa.),  the Traveling Exotic Animal & Public Safety Protection Act, H.R. 6342, would ban traveling wild animal acts given their risks to humans and animals alike. While political debates rage, this simple, important measure—one that countries across the world have already taken—should be a no-brainer.

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The recent incident in which long-time Ringling Bros. exhibitor Vicenta Pages was attacked by a tiger in front of dozens of children is just the most recent reminder of the dangers inherent in these acts. Captive big cats kill about one person every year in America, and injure many more. While Ringling—whose tigers have been involved in numerous maulings—is closing down, other circuses will continue to endanger the public as long as they’re allowed to. Tigers have repeatedly escaped from UniverSoul Circus and at least two people have lost parts of their fingers to big cats with this circus. A Shrine circus attendee came face to face with a tiger in the restroom. At another Shrine circus, a tiger killed a circus handler in front of 200 children. Numerous folks have been rushed to the hospital after encounters with tigers at Shrine circus shows. Yet government records show that exhibitors with UniverSoul, Shrine, and other circuses still fail to adequately contain dangerous animals.

It’s time we acknowledge that carting apex predators around the country in flimsy cages and putting them into direct contact with humans is a bad idea.

But it’s not just the carnivores who endanger us. Elephants can easily snuff out a human life with a single trunk swipe or foot stomp and kill about as many Americans as big cats do. An elephant at a Shrine circus elephant kicked a handler, throwing him about 20 feet and killing him. At least 15 children and one adult were injured when an elephant giving rides at a Shrine circus became startled. One circus exhibitor recently paid a paltry penalty after allowing elephants to repeatedly endanger the public, including an incident in which the elephants escaped from a Shrine circus and ran amok for nearly an hour.

Elephants can also carry tuberculosis, which highly transmissible to humans—even without direct contact, since it’s airborne. Seven people were recently diagnosed with the disease after being around infected elephants at a zoo, and eight individuals contracted TB from a former circus elephant. Yet elephants with the disease are still routinely exposed to the public. Indeed, virtually every American circus with elephants has a history of tuberculosis. UniverSoul is currently touring with tuberculosis-exposed elephants. In 2014, New York City officials required UniverSoul to keep elephants out of its acts after the circus failed to provide current TB tests. Dallas officials recently prohibited elephants with UniverSoul from performing because they had “tested reactive for tuberculosis,” and Michigan’s assistant state veterinarian cautioned that these elephants should not be on the road because of their TB status. Yet UniverSoul continues to bring these same animals to other states with laxer laws. Shrine and other circuses also routinely feature elephants who carry tuberculosis.

The risks posed by these inherently dangerous animals are only heightened by the abuse and deprivation they endure. Elephants in the wild roam up to 30 miles a day; in circuses, they spend many consecutive hours and even days tightly chained, slowly going out of their minds. Big cats who have home ranges of up to 400 miles are routinely caged in tiny transport containers 24 hours a day.

Deprived of everything that is natural and important to them, these animals only perform tricks because they’re terrified not to. Numerous undercover investigations and eyewitness reports confirm that circus animals are trained through severe beatings—often while they’re caged or chained. Such abuse can provoke aggression, feeding an endless cycle.

While countries around the world have banned these cruel and dangerous acts, America lags woefully behind. In a time of immense divisiveness, surely we can at least agree that no animal deserves to suffer endless abuse and confinement—and that it’s foolhardy to continue to endanger human health and safety for a few fleeting moments of outmoded entertainment.

Animal Advocacy Job!

David Cassuto

From the email:

 My name is Kate and I am the editorial operations and outreach coordinator for One Green Planet (onegreenplanet.org). We are the fastest growing (and largest!) independent publishing platform focused on sustainable food, animal welfare issues, environmental protection, and cruelty-free/green living. 

We are currently hiring for a number of positions in our Animal Monster channel, which covers a variety of animal rights and welfare topics. Given your involvement in animal rights, I wanted to send the link to our current openings for you to pass along to any students/alums that might be interested:  Continue reading