Virtual Animal Law Conference Agenda

9:30 – 10:45 a.m. PT/12:30 – 1:45 p.m. ET

Animals in a Changing Climate: Science, Ethics, and Policy

Dr. Lisa Benjamin, Assistant Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School

Dr. Rod Bennison, Independent Scholar; Chair and Founder, Minding Animals International Inc.

Jeff Sebo, Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies; Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, and Philosophy; Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program, New York University

Moderator: Delcianna Winders, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Animal Law Litigation Clinic Director, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Animals are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis, which threatens not only their wellbeing but, in many cases, their very existence. This opening panel will lay out the scientific, ethical, and policy frameworks that underpin tackling climate change’s impacts on animals.

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT/2:15 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Industrial Animal Agriculture, COVID-19, and Climate Change: The Impact of Our Food Choices

Kelsey Eberly, Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Tarah Heinzen, Senior Staff Attorney, Food & Water Watch

Moderator: Joyce Tischler, Professor of Practice, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Industrial animal agriculture, sometimes called factory farming, is a significant contributor to climate change. This panel will provide an overview of the connection between industrial animal agriculture and climate change, as well as how it negatively impacts farmed animals, the environment, workers, neighboring communities, public health, and food safety. The panel will also address how our food policies facilitate the existence of industrial animal agriculture and disregard environmental justice issues, COVID-19, and other pandemic risks.

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. PT/4:00 – 4:45 p.m. ET

Climate Anxiety and Compassion Fatigue

Emma Marris, Author

Moderator: Nicole Pallotta, Senior Policy Program Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Australia burned for weeks. Venice flooded. Animals, both human and nonhuman, are suffering around the world. In the era of the twenty-four-hour news cycle, the impact of climate change is impossible to escape and can take a significant toll on our already stressful lives. Join us for a discussion on how to cope with climate change anxiety and compassion fatigue while still contributing to the solution.

Virtual Animal Law Conference Agenda

9:30 – 10:45 a.m. PT/12:30 – 1:45 p.m. ET

Litigating for Animals in a Climate Crisis

Jessica Culpepper, Food Project Director, Public Justice

Eric Glitzenstein, Director of Litigation, Center for Biological Diversity

Jonathan Lovvorn, Chief Counsel, Animal Protection Litigation, The Humane Society of the United States; Lecturer in Law, Clinical Lecturer in Law, Senior Research Scholar in Law, and Faculty Co-Director, Law, Ethics, & Animals Program, Yale Law School

Moderator: Katherine Meyer, Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor or Law, Harvard Law School

Litigation has long been an important tool for animal advocates. This panel will explore how animal protection litigation strategies are impacted and informed by the climate crisis, and will examine the promises, challenges, and limitations of litigation as a tool to tackle climate change’s impacts on animals.

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT/2:15 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Climate Change, Animals, and the Rise of Zoonotic Diseases

Dr. Aysha Akhtar, CEO, Center for Contemporary Sciences

Kathy Hessler, Clinical Professor of Law and Animal Law Clinic Director, Lewis & Clark Law School

Erica Lyman, Clinical Professor of Law, International Environmental Law Project, Lewis & Clark Law School

Moderator: Randall Abate, Rechnitz Family/Urban Coast Institute Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy; Professor, Department of Political Science and Sociology, Monmouth University

As habitats are being destroyed, oceans are warming, and factory farms proliferate across the globe, zoonotic diseases (those that spread between animals and humans) are also on the rise. Join our panel of experts to learn how climate change affects wild, aquatic, and farmed animals, and ultimately humans, as new infectious diseases, like COVID-19, emerge.

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. PT/4:00 – 4:45 p.m. ET

Keynote Presentation by Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer, Author of Eating Animals and We Are the Weather: Saving the Breakfast Begins at Breakfast

Introduction by: Pamela Hart, Executive Director, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Virtual Animal Law Conference Agenda

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. PT/12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET

Professional Responsibility in a Changing Environment

Russ Mead, Shared Earth Foundation Visiting Professor, Lewis & Clark Law School

Moderator: Priscilla Rader, Education Program Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Calling all attorneys! Russ Mead, animal law ethics expert, will lead attendees through an interactive and engaging set of hypotheticals aimed at examining challenging dilemmas that animal protection attorneys often face, and the appropriate response for adhering to the Model Code of Professional Responsibility. One hour of ethics credit will be available, pending bar approval.

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. PT/2:00 – 3:15 p.m. ET

Legislative and Regulatory Updates

Mimi Brody, Director of Federal Affairs, Humane Society Legislative Fund

Kate Dylewsky, Senior Policy Advisor, Government Affairs, Animal Welfare Institute

Kathleen Schatzmann, Senior Legislative Affairs Manager, Government Affairs, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Moderator: Kate Barnekow, Clinical Fellow, Animal Law & Policy Program, Harvard Law School

Now more than ever, animal issues are represented in proposed legislation across the country. This panel will highlight legislative and regulatory updates that affect animals directly and indirectly, while also examining the unique challenges brought on with animal advocacy in a changing climate.

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. PT/2:00 – 3:15 p.m. ET

Tackling Other Causes of our Changing Climate

Stephanie Feldstein, Population and Sustainability Director, Center for Biological Diversity

Natalie Mebane, Associate Director of United States Policy,

Melissa Powers, Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law; Director, Green Energy Institute, Lewis & Clark Law School

Moderator: Dr. Raj Reddy, Director, Animal Law LL.M. Program, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Increasingly, scientists and governments are acknowledging that factory farming and other animal-use industries are the leading drivers of climate change. While addressing these issues is critical, this panel of experts will shed light on other leading climate change causes and how advocates can take meaningful steps to effect positive change for animals.

12:45 – 1:30 p.m. PT/3:45 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Contingency Planning for Animals

Dan Ashe, President and CEO, Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Nathan Herschler, Executive Director, New England Anti-Vivisection Society

Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

Moderator: Dr. Paul Locke, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Climate change is accelerating the rate of extreme weather events, pandemics, and other crises. As the mass culling of millions of animals amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has vividly illustrated, it is more important than ever that facilities holding animals be prepared to care for them when such contingencies arise. This panel will discuss current efforts to ensure adequate planning for animals in emergencies by industry, policymakers, and animal protection groups.

12:45 – 1:30 p.m. PT/3:45 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Judicial Decision-making: Reaching Key Stakeholders in Animal Cruelty Cases

Jamie Contreras, Senior Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Honorable Gale E. Rasin (Ret.), Baltimore City Circuit Court, 8th Judicial Circuit

The Honorable John J. Romero, Past President, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Moderator: Kathleen Wood, Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Animal cruelty cases can pose unique challenges for judges. An animal can simultaneously be evidence of a crime, legal property of the defendant, and a crime victim. Animal cruelty offenses are also often linked to other crimes, and defendants may have underlying mental health concerns that may impact sentencing. This panel will highlight the key issues that frequently arise in animal cruelty cases from a judge’s perspective and the value of building coalitions among various stakeholders.