Examining the Legal Protection of Animals Used in Entertainment
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (CDT)
The daylong event will feature panels on the legal protections accorded to animals used for entertainment purposes, including movies, television, zoos, circuses and racing. These areas will be examined through a filter of ethical responsibilities involved in using animals for entertainment, legal liability for the misuse of animals, the history of the field of animal law in entertainment and what happens to animals after they “retire.”
Up to 6 hours of CLE credit are available for attorneys.
9:00-10:30- Improving the Odds for Racing Animals
This panel will focus on the controversies surrounding horse racing and greyhound racing and legal efforts at reform. A recent New York Times article featured the statistic that 24 horses die every week as a result of horse racing. Similarly, some estimate that tens of thousands of greyhounds are killed annually because they are not fit for racing. While many still enjoy watching events such as the Kentucky Derby or betting at the track, others remain uncomfortable with horse doping and the difficulty in finding homes for horses that can no longer race. Our panel will also discuss the health risks concerning animals that race, the efforts to improve the living conditions of racers, the attempts by the horse racing community to improve its image and the success in getting 38 states to ban commercial dog racing.
- Christine Dorchak, President and General Counsel, GREY2K USA
- Margit Livingston, Director, Center for Animal Law, DePaul University College of Law
- Tracy McGonigle, Executive Director, Hooved Animal Humane Society
- Kym Valene, Former Jockey
10:45-12:15- Protecting Animal Actors from Harm in Film and Television
This panel will explore questions concerning the treatment of animals on the sets of television and movies. Most recently, the issue of animals in television and film garnered international attention because of HBO’s Luck, which was canceled after three horses died during the filming of the series. In addition to discussing the Luck situation, our speakers will examine the lives of animal actors both on and off the screen, the role of legal regulation in this realm and the ongoing use of live animals in light of advancements in CGI and animatronics.
- Karen Rosa, National Director, American Humane Association Film and TV Unit
- Kathy Guillermo, Vice President, Director of Laboratory Investigations, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Jonny Vasic, President, Evergreen Oasis Entertainment, and former Director of Animal Content in Entertainment, Humane Society of the United States
Bruce Wagman, Board Member, Chimp Sanctuary Northwest
12:30-1:30- Vegan Lunch with luncheon speaker Gary Francione
During a vegan lunch, our luncheon speaker Gary Francione will give his insights into the entire area of animal law. On staff at Rutgers School of Law, Mr. Francione is considered one of the leading scholars in field. Some of his publications include The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation? (2010); Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation (2008); Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement (1996); and Vivisection and Dissection in the Classroom: A Guide to Conscientious Objection (with Anna E. Charlton) (1992).
1:45-3:15- Rethinking the Role of Zoos
This panel will explore the role of zoos in the twenty-first century. Zoo advocates note the preservation and research opportunities presented by well-run, modern zoos and observe that many species can be protected in this environment. Others question whether zoos should continue as they have, given the forced captivity of animals that they inevitably involve.
- Gregory Dennis, Past President, American Veterinary Medical Association
- Sheriff Matt Lutz, Muskingum County, Ohio, Sheriff, Muskingum County Sheriff's Office
- Will Travers, Chief Executive Officer, Born Free Foundation
3:30-5:00- Beneath the Big Top: Legal Regulation of Circuses
This panel will concentrate on the legal and social issues surrounding circus animals. Circus owners and trainers stress the enjoyment the public receives from their shows, and they defend their treatment of animals by questioning allegations of pain and abuse. However, the use of bullhooks for elephant training continues to remain a hot topic among animal advocates, and the United States Department of Agriculture recently levied a fine against Feld Entertainment, Inc., (owners of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus) for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Other topics for discussion include lawsuits filed against Feld Entertainment for animal cruelty, Feld Entertainment's RICO claim against animal advocacy groups, and the banning of circus animals in Greece and Paraguay.
When & Where
DePaul Center for Animal Law
Characterized by academic rigor and community outreach, the DePaul Center for Animal Law examines local, state, federal and international policy relating to the rights and welfare of animals, including animal cruelty, factory farming, animal experimentation, animals in entertainment and tort valuation of animals.