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Speakers

The Canadian Animal Law Conference will bring together some of the biggest leaders in the field of animal law from across the globe. Over 50 inspiring animal lawyers, scholars, and advocates will share their knowledge and expertise.

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Amy Soranno

Animal Activist

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Direct Action for Animals: Perspectives from Activists and Lawyers

Amy Soranno, a passionate Canadian animal activist, has dedicated her life to shedding light on the hidden cruelties suffered by farmed animals. She spearheads impactful activism campaigns, conducts investigations to document animal cruelty, and organizes large-scale protest events. As a co-founder of Ban Fur Farms BC, a grassroots organization, Amy and her colleagues played pivotal roles in the successful permanent ban on mink fur farms in British Columbia in 2021. In 2019, Amy was one of The Excelsior 4 activists who faced charges for exposing animal cruelty at Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford. Despite enduring criminal charges, convictions, and imprisonment, Amy remains resolute in her commitment to animal rights. Her unwavering dedication has taken her across the globe, including Israel and Europe, where she continues to shed light on the plight of farmed animals and inspire the international animal rights movement through empowering activist workshops and compelling speaking engagements.

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Andrew Fenton

Associate Professor of Philosophy

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Session: Canadian Perspectives on Animal Experimentation

Andrew Fenton is an associate professor of philosophy at Dalhousie University. He received his B.A. (Hons.) in Philosophy and Comparative Religion from Acadia University, M.A. in Philosophy from Dalhousie University, and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Calgary. Fenton has authored or co-authored papers related to animal philosophy or ethics in such journals as Animals, Biology and Philosophy, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, and the Journal of Animal Ethics as well as chapters in The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics (Routledge, 2018), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds (Routledge, 2018) and the Philosophy of Behavioral Biology (co-edited by Kathryn Plaisance and Thomas Reydon, Springer, 2012). He has also co-authored Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief (Routledge, 2019) and co-edited Neuroethics and Nonhuman Animals (Springer, 2020). For some of Fenton’s blogs see https://impactethics.ca/.

 

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Angela Fernandez

Professor, Faculty of Law

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Session: Building a More Compassionate and Sustainable Food System

Angela Fernandez is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, where she is cross-appointed to the Department of History. She clerked for former Justice Michel Bastarache at the Supreme Court of Canada after completing her LL.B. (common law) and B.C.L. (civil law degree) at the Faculty of Law at McGill University. Her graduate degrees are from Queen’s University (an M.A. in philosophy) and Yale Law School, an LL.M. (Master’s in law) and a J.S.D. (Doctorate in law). In addition to teaching animal law, Professor Fernandez runs a Working Group on Animals in the Law & Humanities. She is a member of the Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network (BASAN), a collaborative research network with the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights, Law & Policy and has been member of their Scholars Committee since June 2022. In collaboration with Brooks, she supervises the production of the Brooks Animal Law Digest: Canada Edition and oversees the University of Toronto’s Animal Law Research Guide. For four years she has worked with Brooks and Animal Justice Canada to organize the North American Animal Law Conference and the Canadian Animal Law Conference. She sits on the Board of Advisors and is a Director of Animal Justice Canada.

 

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Barry Kent MacKay

Artist, Naturalist, and Conservationist

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Session: Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Legal and Policy Implications of the Current Bias Against “Non-Native” Species

Barry is a renowned artist, naturalist, and conservationist. With a mother who was a pioneer in wildlife rehabilitation and mentors including Roger Tory Peterson, Barry has devoted his life and career to the study of natural history, and the protection of birds and other wildlife. He is a Founding Director of Zoocheck Canada and of the Animal Alliance of Canada; a Founding Member of the Species Survival Network; a former Director of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists, the Toronto Ornithological Club, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, and the Canadian Society for Endangered Birds; and a member of many other related organizations, including Artists for Conservation. His “Nature Trail” column ran in the Toronto Star for 25 years and his articles and artwork have appeared in countless books and magazines, including Birds of the World and National Audubon. He is the author and illustrator of two books about birds.

 

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Bibhas D. Vaze

Lawyer

Session: Direct Action for Animals: Perspectives from Activists and Lawyers

Bibhas Damodar Vaze is a progressive public interest lawyer, specializing in criminal and quasi-criminal law.  He has argued and won cases at all levels of Canada’s Court system, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He has focused his efforts on the rights of vulnerable individuals and communities, including prisoners, medical cannabis users, and progressive activists of all stripes.  He is committed and happy to use his advocacy skills in aid of achieving the just treatment of animals and those who stand for them.

 

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    Camille Labchuk

    Executive Director, Animal Justice

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    Session: The Impact of Canadian Ag Gag Laws on Activism and Free Speech

    Camille is one of Canada’s leading animal rights lawyers. As a lawyer, Camille seeks out cases that enhance the legal interests of animals, expose hidden animal suffering, and result in meaningful policy changes. As an advocate, Camille’s work includes documenting the commercial seal kill on Canada’s East Coast, exposing cruelty in farming, protecting the free speech rights of animal advocates, and campaigns against trophy hunting, circuses, zoos, aquariums, shark finning, puppy mills, and more. Camille is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Mount Allison University. She is a frequent lecturer and media commentator on animal law issues.

     

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    Carlos Contreras López

    Visiting Fellow at the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School

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    Session: Global Perspectives on Animal Experimentation

    Carlos Contreras López holds a degree in law from the Pontifical Xaverian University (Bogotá, Colombia, 2007) and from the University of the Basque Country (San Sebastián, Spain, 2008). He wrote a Ph.D. dissertation titled The Legal Framework of Animals in Chile, Colombia, and Argentina that was published as a book in 2016, while he was teaching Roman Law and Animal Law courses and coordinating six editions of the Master’s in Animal Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He has several publications on Animal Law.

    In 2016, he created a law firm (www.murlacontreras.com) specializing in Animal Law. He is the current President of the Barcelona Bar Association’s Commission for the Protection of Animal Rights and a Visiting Fellow at the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School. In 2022, he won the Lush Public Awareness Prize and the Andalusian Advocacy Award.

     

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    Dr. Charu Chandrasekera

    Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, University of Windsor

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    Session: Canadian Perspectives on Animal Experimentation

    Dr. Charu Chandrasekera is the founder and executive director of Canada’s first and only centre dedicated exclusively to animal-free science—the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM) and its subsidiary, the Canadian Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (CaCVAM) located at the University of Windsor. She is an experienced scientist, former animal researcher, science policy expert, and an animal lover. Through CCAAM/CaCVAM, Dr. Chandrasekera promotes the replacement of animals in Canadian biomedical research, education, and regulatory testing through 21st century science, innovation, and ethics.

     

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    Chloé Surprenant

    Lawyer, Boro Frigon Gordon Jones

    Session: Direct Action for Animals: Perspectives from Activists and Lawyers

    Chloé Surprenant (she/her) is a lawyer who practices criminal law and animal law. She is specifically interested in questions of the protection, by Canadian law, of animals exploited on farms. Recently, she was one of the lawyers in the case of the activists accused of having entered the Porgreg pigsty and she also represented an animal sanctuary that had received a statement of offense from the MAPAQ.

     

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    Dr. Clair Linzey

    Deputy Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

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    Session: Exploring the Latest Trends in Animal Law and Policy Through New Books

    Dr Clair Linzey, PhD is Deputy Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and the Frances Power Cobbe Professor of Animal Theology at the Graduate Theological Foundation. In addition, she is Director of the Annual Oxford Animal Ethics Summer School. She serves as co-editor of the Journal of Animal Ethics and co-editor of the Palgrave Macmillan book series on Animal Ethics, which has published more than 20 books on animal related issues. She is the author of Developing Animal Theology (Routledge, 2021). Her co- edited volumes include, Animal Ethics for Veterinarians (University of Illinois Press, 2017), The Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal Ethics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Animal Ethics (Routledge, 2018), Ethical Vegetarianism and Veganism (Routledge, 2018), and Animal Ethics and Animal Law (Lexington, 2022). Her latest book with Andrew Linzey is An Ethical Critique of Fur Factory Farming (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).

     

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    Dan Stein

    Criminal Lawyer

      Session: The Impact of Canadian Ag Gag Laws on Activism and Free Speech

      Dan Stein is a criminal lawyer from Toronto, Ontario. His practice focuses on appellate law, Charter and constitutional litigation, jury trials, and serious criminal cases. He sits on the board of the Pro-bono Inmate Appeal’s program (of Ontario) and regularly assists self-represented inmates at the Court of Appeal for Ontario as duty counsel. In 2014 and 2015, he ran for office as a candidate for the Green party, in the Ontario provincial and then federal election. He has studied and taught mindfulness, with a special focus in how it can apply to the practice of law. He has also participated in continuing education panels that address the intersection between the practice of law, wellness, and mental health.

       

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      Daniel Dylan

      Associate Professor, Faculty of Law

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      Session: Companion Animals, Family Law, & Tax Policy

      Daniel Dylan is an Associate Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He teaches Animal Law, Contract Law, Evidence Law, Intellectual Property Law & Indigenous Knowledge Governance. In the past he has also taught Professional Responsibility, Legal Research and Writing, and undergraduate courses in Aboriginal law and Human Rights law. In 2020, he was awarded a Lakehead Contribution to Teaching Award and has been nominated for one again in 2023. He clerked at the Federal Court for two years, completed a judicial clerkship externship at the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and is a former lawyer in the Government of Nunavut Department of Justice, where over the course of several years his practice focused on Impact Review Assessments, Wildlife, and Natural Resources law.

       

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      David Favre

      Professor of Law

        Session: Protecting Animals Using International Law

        David Favre has been a professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law for over forty-four years, serving as Dean of the College for five years, and teaching in the area of Property Law, Animal Law, and International Environmental Law. Professor Favre has written a number of articles and books dealing with animal issues including such topics as animal cruelty, wildlife law, animal rights, ethics of animal use, and international control of animal trade. His books include the casebook Animal Law: Welfare, Interest, and Rights (3nd ed. 2020), the ethics book Respecting Animals (2018), a legal roadmap, The Future of Animal Law (2021). He created and is editor-in-chief of the largest animal legal web resource in the world, www.animallaw.info. Now residing on a farm in Lower Michigan, Professor Favre shares his space with sheep, chickens and the usual assortment of dogs.

         

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        Dr. David M. Peña-Guzmán

        Associate Professor, Humanities

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        Scholars Track Session: When Animals Dream

        David M. Peña-Guzmán is associate professor of humanities at SF State. He specializes in animal studies, the history and philosophy of science, French philosophy, and theories of consciousness. He is the author of When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness, and co-author of Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief. He is also co-host of the podcast Overthink, which puts philosophical ideas in dialogue with everyday life.

         

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        Duda Nedeff​

        Corporate Campaigns Manager, Animal Justice

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        Session: The State of Farmed Animal Welfare in Canada

        Eduarda Nedeff (Duda) holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from the University of the Itajaí Valley (Univali) in Brazil, and also completed a postgraduate certificate in Sport and Event Marketing from George Brown College in Canada. For over six years, she worked in the marketing sector before transitioning to the animal protection movement in 2016. Her focus has been on developing and managing campaigns, corporate engagement, and strategies to advance animal welfare policies. She has successfully influenced leading companies globally, including McDonald's, Burger King, Krispy Kreme, Minor International, Carrefour, and Dunkin Donuts.

         

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        Gary Grill

        Criminal Law Specialist & Founding Partner at Grill Barristers Professional Corporation

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        Session: Careers in Animal Law Panel and Mentorship Workshop

        Gary Grill graduated Osgoode Hall Law School in 1994 and was called to the Ontario bar in 1996. Gary is a Criminal Law Specialist and taught Criminal Procedure at Osgoode Law for many years. An ethical vegan for close to three decades, Gary has defended many animal rights activists over the years who have been charged with crimes as a result of their activism. He has acted as counsel for Sea Shepherd and is counsel for PETA in Canada. He is regularly consulted by organizations on issues relating to animal rights. Gary is the recipient of PETA’s Justice for Animals Award for his work representing Anita Krajnc in the Pig Trial.

         

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        Dr. Georgia Mason

        Professor, Department of Integrative Biology

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        Scholars Track Session: Animal Welfare and the Validity of Animal-Based Biomedical Research

        Professor Georgia Mason is an award-winning behavioural biologist specilaising in animal wefare and the long-term impacts of captive environments. She has a PhD and post-doc from Cambridge University, and 10 years of research fellowship experience at Oxford University, before moving to Canada to take up a Canada Research Chair in 2004. She currently directs the University of Guelph's Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (https://ccsaw.uoguelph.ca), the largest and oldest animal welfare research group in the Americas. Her current research focuses on the validation of indicators of animal welfare, the causes and welfare significance of stereotypic behaviour, species differences in captive well-being, and whether poor cages can induce depression.

         

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        Hira Jaleel

        Animal Law Teaching Fellow

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        Session: Protecting Animals Using International Law

        Hira Jaleel is an Animal Law Teaching Fellow at Lewis & Clark Law School, where she teaches Food Law. Hira holds an LLM in Animal Law and has previously practiced as an attorney in Pakistan. As part of her practice, she extensively litigated on behalf of animals and advised clients on legal issues surrounding companion animals. She designed and taught Pakistan’s first ever animal law course in Spring 2022 at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.

         

        As part of her work, Hira has worked with all four provincial governments in Pakistan to update their animal welfare legislation. Hira has also been a consultant for Pakistan’s Federal Ministry of National Food Security & Research, and has worked on a new Federal Animal Health Bill for Pakistan in collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH). Hira’s research interests relate to comparative and international animal law issues, as well as the intersection between animal law and feminist legal theory.

         

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        Iselin Gambert

        Professor and Interim Director of the Fundamentals of Lawyering Program, George Washington University Law School

          Session: Out of the Shadows: Making Animals Visible in the Legal Academy

          Iselin Gambert is professor and interim director of the Fundamentals of Lawyering program at The George Washington University Law School, where she teaches courses in legal communication and rhetoric and a seminar called Gender, Race, Species. In 2018 she co-taught an interdisciplinary course in critical animal studies at Lund University (Sweden). Iselin’s scholarship spans multiple fields including language and rhetoric, critical animal studies, critical race theory, food law and policy, and feminist legal theory. She has written extensively on the subject of milk; her 2019 Brooklyn Law Review, Got Mylk? The Disruptive Possibilities of Plant Milk, was identified as a “Notable & Quotable” by the Wall Street Journal. She was part of the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project, which published Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Cambridge University Press 2016). She is a recipient of a 2019 Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellowship in the Personal Essay category.

           

          Jeff Kerr

          Jeff Kerr

          Senior Vice President and Legal Counsel, PETA Foundation

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          Session: Protecting Animals Using International Law

          As general counsel to PETA and its international affiliates for 27 years, Jeff Kerr built and leads the world's largest legal team working for animal rights. His team was named Corporate Counsel magazine's 2017 Best Legal Department, and his high-profile cases—including the 13th Amendment case Tilikum v. SeaWorld, numerous successful constitutional challenges to "ag- gag" laws, and the "Monkey Selfie" copyright case—have made headlines around the world and sparked a global conversation about the legal rights of animals. Through a series of recent precedent-setting Endangered Species Act lawsuits, the PETA legal team decimated the big cat cub-petting industry by ending the separation of cubs from their mothers, prohibiting declawing, and requiring proper care and housing.

          Jeff graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, which in 2018 recognized his body of public service work with the prestigious Shaping Justice Award for Extraordinary Achievement. He completed his undergraduate studies at George Mason University, where he was a Weber scholar. He has 36 years of litigation experience with corporate and exempt organizations and has lectured about animal law at law schools across the country. His legal work has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times, Time magazine, InsideCounsel magazine, and Corporate Counsel magazine, together with scores of other national and international media outlets.

           

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          Jennifer Friedman

          Lawyer, Canada's Animal Lawyer

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          Session: Companion Animals, Family Law, & Tax Policy

          Jennifer obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto (1999) and her Juris Doctor from the University of Western Ontario (2002). Twenty years ago, she was called to the Bar in the Province of Ontario. For the past 17 years, Jennifer has handled hundreds of animal cases before courts and tribunals across Canada.

           

          In 2006, Jennifer was hired as the first ever General Counsel for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

           

          In 2008, she released the inaugural edition of the book, Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Annotated. In 2008, Jennifer was hired by the Ontario (Horse) Racing Commission as Litigation Counsel.

           

          In 2012, her submissions to the Ontario Bar Association led to the creation of the province's first section dedicated exclusively to Animal Law; just the second of its kind in Canada. She acted as Chair from 2012-2014.

           

          For the past 7 years, Jennifer has operated her own practice, Canada's Animal Lawyer, which is devoted exclusively to Animal Law. She handles a wide variety of Animal Law matters including those pertaining to breed-specific legislation, companion animal custody and ownership disputes, dangerous dog designations, equine law, interpretation and drafting of municipal by-laws, plant-based businesses, shelter and breeder issues, and veterinary malpractice.

           

          Jennifer has been a chair and panelist for various continuing legal education seminars, and a guest speaker and moderator at diverse animal-related sessions. She also appears on a podcast, teaches Animal Law and Advocacy and Introduction to Animal Law, and is regularly quoted and featured as an Animal Law expert in mainstream media. In 2023, she was nominated as one of Canada's Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers.

           

          Jennifer lives in Toronto with her husband, three children, and two rescue dogs.

           

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          Jenny McQueen

          Animal Rights Activist

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          Session: Direct Action for Animals: Perspectives from Activists and Lawyers

          Jenny McQueen is a long-time animal rights activist, originally from England, now residing in Toronto, Canada.

           

          McQueen has been arrested many times for her activism, has helped rescue animals, had a police raid on her home, and was convicted alongside others in #PigTrial4 for occupying a pig breeding facility with RosesLaw.org. Jenny is also co-founder of Animal Rights Toronto, a coordinator with DxE - Direct Action Everywhere Toronto, and a volunteer with The Animal Save Movement, PETA, and others.

           

          Jenny has been featured in many media articles, for her activism and disruptions—on a fur catwalk, at a Blue Jays game, for open rescue via #PigTrial2 and other actions.

           

          Joan Schaffner

          Joan Schaffner

          Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law

            Session: Out of the Shadows: Making Animals Visible in the Legal Academy

            Joan Schaffner is a professor at The George Washington University Law School. Ze teaches Civil Procedure and Legislation and Regulation and is the faculty advisor to Lambda Law and the GW Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and Animal Welfare Project. Joan’s scholarship focuses on animal protection law. Ze is the author of Introduction to Animals and the Law, several book chapters, and journal articles. Joan is Past co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) International Animal Law Committee; Past Chair and Newsletter Vice-Chair of the ABA Animal Law Committee; Founding Chair of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Animal Law; and Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Joan has received the ABA TIPS Andrew C. Hecker Memorial Award, the AALS Excellence in Animal Law Award, and the ABA TIPS Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award.

             

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            Justin Marceau

            Professor and Brooks Institute Faculty Research Scholar of Animal Law and Policy, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver

              Session: Direct Action for Animals: Perspectives from Activists and Lawyers

              Professor Marceau is a Professor of Law, the Brooks Institute Faculty Research Scholar of Animal Law and Policy, the Faculty director of the Animal Law Program, and the Faculty Director of the Animal Activist Legal Defense Project, a legal clinic providing advice and representation to animal activists. He is also an affiliated faculty member with the Institute for Human Animal Connections at the Graduate School of Social Work.

              Professor Marceau continues to litigate pro bono cases and serve as a consultant or witness in a variety of criminal and civil cases. He serves as an inaugural member of the Governor’s Council for Animal Protection, and he serves as a member of an oversight committee for the Colorado Bureau of Animal Protection. He is on the advisory board for the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights, and is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

               

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              Kaitlyn Mitchell

              Director of Legal Advocacy, Animal Justice

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              Session: Canadian Perspectives on Animal Experimentation

              Kaitlyn Mitchell has over a decade of experience using the law to protect animals and the environment. She has an extensive history of going to court to fight for environmental justice, as well as working to strengthen Canadian environmental laws, and uses this expertise to enforce and strengthen Canada’s animal laws. She has appeared before numerous courts across the country, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Kaitlyn graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 2007 after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Winnipeg.

               

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              Kathy Hessler

              Assistant Dean for Animal Law, and Director of the Animal Legal Education Initiative, at George Washington University Law School

                Session: Out of the Shadows: Making Animals Visible in the Legal Academy

                Kathy Hessler is the inaugural Assistant Dean for Animal Law, and Director of the Animal Legal Education Initiative, at George Washington University Law School.  Dean Hessler also founded the Council on Animal Legal Education and the Aquatic Animal Law Project, and co-founded and co-directs the Animal Law & Science Project with Dr. Lori Marino.

                 

                Dean Hessler has been a clinical law professor for 30 years and has been teaching animal law for 22 years. She is the first law professor hired to teach animal law full-time. She received her J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary and her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.  Dean Hessler helped develop the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School where for fourteen years she taught and directed the Animal Law Clinic, which was named one of the top fifteen most innovative clinics in 2015.  She also created and directed the Aquatic Animal Law Initiative and is the co-founder of World Aquatic Animal Day along with Amy P. Wilson. 

                 

                Dean Hessler also co-authored Animal Law in a Nutshell, Animal Law – New Perspectives on Teaching Traditional Law, and the amicus briefs submitted in the U.S. v. Stevens and Justice v. Gwendolyn Vercher cases.  She has written numerous law review and other articles and teaches and lectures widely across the U.S. and internationally and is working on a new book, Aquatic Animals; Law, Science and Policy.

                 

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                Kelly Duffin

                Advocate and Founder, Mute Swan Society

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                Session: Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Legal and Policy Implications of the Current Bias Against “Non-Native” Species

                Kelly is a lifelong advocate for issues of social justice. Most recently, she has studied and lobbied conservation authorities and the federal government against the destruction of Mute Swans and their eggs and against legislation that could allow them to be hunted. With allies, she has launched www.MuteSwanSociety.org and the Instagram account @muteswansociety to protect this naturalized species.

                 

                Her advocacy is informed by a background in marketing and communications, including as Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Random House and as the founding Manager of The Giller Prize for fiction.

                 

                Over the last 20 years, she has served as the CEO of medical and social service non- profits, including the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada and the Canadian Hearing Society, where she advocated for research funding and social inclusion among other things. Kelly holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto and an M.B.A. from the Ivey School of Business.

                 

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                Dr. Kendra Coulter

                Professor, Huron University College

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                Session: Exploring the Latest Trends in Animal Law and Policy Through New Books

                Dr. Kendra Coulter is Professor in Management and Organizational Studies at Huron University College, Western University, a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. Her latest book, Defending Animals: Finding Hope on the Front Lines of Animal Protection (The MIT Press), will be published on September 26th.

                 

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                Kip Phillips

                Associate, Willms & Shier

                  Session: How to Get Involved While in Law School and as a Junior Lawyer

                  Kip Phillips is an associate at Willms & Shier, an environmental law boutique in Toronto, ON. She previously articled at Gowling WLG in the Environmental Advocacy Group. Kip is a 2022 JD Graduate of Peter A. Allard Law of UBC, and is pursuing a career in animal rights, and environmental law.  She interned in Summer 2020 at Animal Justice and was the President of the UBC Animal Justice Club while in law school. Kip presented at the Canadian Animal Law Conference in 2022 on the importance of plant-based foods to combat antimicrobial resistance, and was previously assistant to the Liberal Animal Welfare Caucus on behalf of MP Nathaniel Erksine-Smith. Kip was previously the Communications & Outreach Director at the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). In her spare time, Kip is a girl guide leader for her daughter’s group and enjoys being a cat lady.

                   

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                  Kira Berkeley

                  Co-Director & Counsel, AEL Advocacy

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                  Session: Unconventional Approaches to Challenging Factory Farming

                  Kira Berkeley is head of AEL Advocacy's animal law division. Kira also practices animal law at Scott Law Group. Kira has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University in Toronto and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law in June 2020. While completing her studies, Kira served as an executive member of uOttawa’s Animal Justice Association and worked as an animal law legal intern at Animal Justice, Breder Law (Vancouver) and Gartner & Associates Animal Law (Toronto). Kira completed her articles with OLLIP Professional Corporation, a boutique intellectual property law firm. Prior to starting AEL Advocacy, Kira continued as an associate in the litigation department of the firm, handling matters before the Trademarks Opposition Board, Federal Court, and Federal Court of Appeal. Throughout her articling and associate roles, Kira handled pro-bono cases to help those in need gain access to justice.

                   

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                  Dr. Kristin Andrews

                  Professor, Department of Philosophy, York University

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                  Scholars Track Session: Social Norms in Animal Cultures

                  Kristin Andrews is Professor of Philosophy and York Research Chair in Animal Minds at York University (Canada), and CIFAR Fellow in the Future Flourishing program. She is the author of many papers and books on animal social cognition, consciousness, morality, and personhood, including The Animal Mind: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Animal Cognition (Routledge 2020), How to Study Animal Minds (Cambridge 2020), and How Apes Read Minds: Toward a New Folk Psychology (MIT 2012), and co-author of Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief (Routledge 2018). 

                  Professor Andrews brings empirical and theoretical expertise to questions about the similarities and differences between humans and nonhuman animals in terms of their cognitive, affective, social, and cultural capacities. She has developed novel frameworks for social and normative cognition that can be used to investigate these capacities in other animals. Professor Andrews is currently engaged in a number of projects related to social norms. She is writing a book on the evolution of social norms, exploring whether social norms form part of animal cultures in a range of species, and developing the implications of these findings for animal conservation and welfare efforts. Professor Andrews also writes on animal consciousness, animal ethics, animal morality, and legal status for animals.

                   

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                  Kristen Stilt

                  Professor, Faculty Director of the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School

                    Session: Rights of Nature as a Path to Animal Rights

                    Kristen Stilt is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She also serves as Faculty Director of the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard and Director of the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World. Stilt was named a Carnegie Scholar for her work on Constitutional Islam, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2020-2021 was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard. She received a JD from The University of Texas School of Law and a PhD in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. Her research focuses on animal law, and in particular the intersection of animal law and religious law; Islamic law and society; and comparative constitutional law. She is currently working on a book project about the global animal agriculture industry to be published by Oxford University Press; the Oxford Handbook of Global Animal Law with co-editors Anne Peters and Saskia Stucki; an Animal Law and Policy casebook with Justin Marceau; and an article on rights of nature and animal rights with Macarena Montes.

                     

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                    Krystal-Anne Roussel

                    Animal Law Research Associate, University of Toronto Faculty of Law

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                    Session: Building a More Compassionate and Sustainable Food System

                    Krystal-Anne Roussel is the Animal Law Research Associate at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. She graduated in 2020 from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, where she pursued her research interests in animal law, environmental law, and Indigenous laws and legal traditions. During this time, she was the founder and president of the University of Ottawa Animal Justice Association and was co-president of the University of Ottawa Environmental Law Students’ Association. While completing her studies, she was awarded the Newton Rowell Scholarship for academic excellence and interest in public service. She also has an undergraduate degree in criminology and anthropology from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick and a Certificate in Humane Education and Advanced Animal Legal Issues from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. Krystal-Anne worked as a summer student with Animal Justice in 2018 and East Coast Environmental Law in 2019. She was called to the Bar in Ontario in May 2021 and articled with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA). She continued to work for CELA as legal counsel and Water Policy Coordinator, Healthy Great Lakes and was awarded a TBCG Young Lawyers Mentorship Fund Award by CELA in November 2022.

                     

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                    Lori Cohen

                    Executive Director, The Beagle Alliance

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                    Session: Global Perspectives on Animal Experimentation

                    Lori's love for her beloved beagle, Trouble, sparked her advocacy for the rescue of animals in testing facilities and non-animal use in research. The Beagle Alliance was formed with the knowledge that no rescue in Canada was solely dedicated to these special survivors and that Canada was behind in legislation and the protection of animals in science.

                     

                    Lori passion for holistic health has played a significant role in her advocacy both for the animals and for the animal care workers in institutions, who all suffer from trauma, PTSD and anxiety. She believes that by bringing a community together and meeting people where they are at, is not only a compassionate stand, but is how we as a majority can make change.

                     

                    Partnering with a similar non-profit in the U.S. has allowed The Beagle Alliance to align with advocates and rescues across North America resulting in the rescue of dozens of beagles from laboratories and the opportunity to offer them freedom, safety and love in Canada, including several from the infamous Envigo breeding facility.

                     

                    Lori’s vision and the vision of The Beagle Alliance is to see the end of animal testing in Canada and beyond.

                     

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                    Lori Marino

                    President, Whale Sanctuary Project

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                    Session: The Jane Goodall Act: Science, Law, & the Legislative Process

                    Lori Marino is a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior, intelligence, and self-awareness who was on the faculty of Emory University and currently an adjunct professor in Animal Studies at New York University. She is the founder and President of the Whale Sanctuary Project and Executive Director of The Kimmela Center for Scholarship-based Animal Advocacy. Lori is also the co-founder (with Kathy Hessler) of the Animal Law and Science Project at George Washington University, which focuses on bringing together science and animal law to elevate results for other animals. Lori’s scientific work focuses on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales (as well as primates and farmed animals), and on the effects of captivity on wildlife. She has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers, book chapters, and magazine articles.

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                    Louise Jorgensen

                    Animal Rights Activist and Animal Photojournalist

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                    Session: The Impact of Canadian Ag Gag Laws on Activism and Free Speech

                    Louise is a Toronto-based animal rights activist and animal photojournalist. For more than twelve years she's dedicated her life to capturing and highlighting the hidden victims trapped within our food system. Her hope is that her photos will draw viewers to connect with them, to encourage empathy, and to see them as individuals and equals, not objects for us to use, exploit, or kill.

                     

                    Since 2011 Louise has been co-organizing vigils for animals at slaughterhouses with the Animal Save Movement and is the co-founder and organizer of Toronto Cow Save vigils. Louise began a paid position with Animal Save Movement in 2017 creating social media content, graphics, and as a county liaison.

                     

                    As well as being a contributor to We Animals Media, her photos have been shared by many organizations and published in several media outlets including Huffpost, The Humane League, Toronto Star, One Green Planet, Free From Harm, Animal Justice, and are also shared regularly by PETA and Animal Save Movement.

                     

                    Louise has joined forces with Animal Justice and journalist Jessica Scott-Reid to sue the Ontario government over a troubling “ag gag” (agricultural gag) law that was passed to conceal animal suffering. They're asking the courts to strike down multiple sections of Ontario’s Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act for violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, most notably the right to freedom of expression.

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                    Lynn Kavanagh

                    Farming Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection

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                    Session: The State of Farmed Animal Welfare in Canada

                    Lynn Kavanagh has MSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare from the University of Guelph and currently works as the Farming Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection, an international animal welfare charity with offices in 14 countries. She oversees World Animal Protection’s farming campaign work in Canada to change government legislation, corporate policies, and people’s behaviour to improve animal treatment and create stronger protections for animals. Lynn has been working in animal advocacy for over 20 years, beginning with a small grassroots organization which, at the time, was one of the few voices for farm animals in Canada.

                     

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                    Macarena Montes

                    Visiting Fellow, Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Rights Law & Policy Program, Harvard Law School

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                    Session: Rights of Nature as a Path to Animal Rights

                    Macarena Montes Franceschini is an attorney and a researcher with a Ph.D. in Law from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She has been a visiting researcher at Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and a Rights Research Fellow at the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School, where she is currently a visiting fellow. She is also a board member of the UPF-Centre for Animal Ethics, editor of the journal Law, Ethics and Philosophy (LEAP), a member of the Editorial Committee of the Chilean Journal of Animal Law, and the treasurer of the Great Ape Project – Spain. She has written several articles on nonhuman animal personhood, animal rights, and animal law and a book titled Animal Law in Chile.

                     

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                    Madeleine Youngman

                    Research Assistant, University of Alberta

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                    Session: Building a More Compassionate and Sustainable Food System

                    I am a philosophy graduate research assistant at the University of Alberta in Canada. My research interests include ethics, social and political philosophy, feminist and queer philosophy, and critical phenomenology. I am particularly interested in how philosophy can be practically relevant in the context of the ethics of collective action, especially if it adequately integrates normative theorizing with the realities of what kinds of activism and social movement participation are effective in practice. My current research consists of analyzing the current agricultural system and government policies within Canada to assess the need and prospects for the implementation of a much more plant based food system in Canada to address Canada's duties of environmental, health, social, decolonial and animal justice.

                     

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                    Marty McKendry

                    Senior Advisor, Parliamentary Strategy

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                    Session: The Jane Goodall Act: Science, Law, & the Legislative Process

                    Marty McKendry is a lawyer and parliamentary advisor to Senator Marty Klyne and Senator Pierre
                    Dalphond. He worked with the Hon. Murray Sinclair to draft and advance the Jane Goodall Act in 2020,
                    and with the Hon. Wilfred Moore to draft and advance the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins
                    Act in 2015. In the 42 nd Parliament, Marty served as Director of Parliamentary Affairs to the Government
                    Representative in the Senate. He has a Master’s degree in philosophy and a law degree from the
                    University of Toronto.

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                    Matthew Liebman

                    Associate Professor and Chair of the Justice For Animals Program, University of San Francisco School of Law

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                    Session: The Future of Animal Rights Litigation

                    Matthew Liebman is Associate Professor and Chair of the Justice for Animals Program at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Before coming to USF, Matthew practiced law for 12 years with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, including three years as the organization’s director of litigation. Matthew’s article Animal Plaintiffs is forthcoming in the Minnesota Law Review. His scholarship has also appeared in Ecology Law Quarterly, the Animal Law Review, the Journal of Animal Law, and the Stanford Environmental Law Journal. He is the co-author of A Worldview of Animal Law. Matthew’s current scholarly focus is on the ethical challenges of representing animal clients. Matthew graduated from Stanford Law School and the University of Texas. He clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

                     

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                    Dr. Maya Mathur

                    Assistant Professor, Quantitative Sciences Unit, Biomedical Informatics Research Division

                      Scholars Track Session: Nudges to Reduce Meat and Animal-Product Consumption: The State of the Scientific Evidence

                      Maya Mathur is an Assistant Professor at the Stanford University Quantitative Sciences Unit, the principal investigator of the Humane & Sustainable Food Lab, and the Associate Director of the Stanford Center for Open and Reproducible Science. Her lab’s research on animal welfare focuses on educational and choice-architectural means to reduce consumption of meat and animal products. Maya has received early-career and young investigator awards from the Society for Epidemiologic Research, the Society for Research Synthesis Methods, and American Statistical Association.

                       

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                      Michaël Lessard

                      Professor, University of Sherbrooke Faculty of Law

                        Session: Beyond Binaries: Challenging Legal Categorizations of Animals

                        Michaël Lessard is a professor of law at the University of Sherbrooke Faculty of Law. He has developed this research project as a visiting scholar at the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law.

                         

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                        Monica Miller

                        Senior Staff Attorney, Nonhuman Rights Project and Former Legal Director and Senior Counsel, American Humanist Association

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                        Session: The Future of Animal Rights Litigation

                        Since graduating from Vermont Law School in 2012, Monica Miller has served as an attorney for the Nonhuman Rights Project while simultaneously serving as the Legal Director and Senior Counsel for the American Humanist Association where she litigated dozens high profile First Amendment cases in federal courts across the country, including before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits. Miller is one of the youngest women to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court, which made PBS’s list of 5 of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Most Powerful Supreme Court Opinions. Miller also presented the historic oral argument on behalf of Happy the elephant in New York's highest court in 2022. Miller earned her Master’s Degree (MPA) from Columbia University in Environmental Science and Policy in 2009 and her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Pritzer College in 2008.

                         

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                        Nandita Bajaj

                        Executive Director, Population Balance

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                        Session: Reproductive Rights for All

                        Nandita Bajaj is the Executive Director of Population Balance that offers education and solutions to address the impacts of human overpopulation and overconsumption on the planet, people, and animals, where she also co-hosts The Overpopulation Podcast. She is also an instructor at the Institute for Humane Education at Antioch University, where she teaches two courses - Human Rights as well as Pronatalism, Overpopulation, and the Planet. She is the lead author of a recent research paper: Challenging Pronatalism is Key to Advancing Reproductive Rights and a Sustainable Population. Her work has appeared in major news outlets such as CBC National, The Globe and Mail, Newsweek, National Post, Ms. Magazine, and the Washington Post. She has Bachelor degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Education, and a Master’s degree in Humane Education.

                         

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                        Nika Moeini

                        Climate and Animal Rights Activist

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                        Session: Gen Z as a Spark for Animal Rights: Lessons from Youth-Led Movements

                        Nika Moeini is an Iranian-Canadian climate and animal rights activist. Nika works full time as a Policy Analyst at Environment and Climate Change Canada while working as an Organizer of Youth Climate Save Canada, for which she was awarded the Environment Advocate award from her MPP Chris Glover. Nika has built broad coalitions as an advocate for climate and animal justice, as part of the Toronto climate action network, Canadian climate action network, and coalition for sustainable food transition as a member organization, while helping to lead youth engagement for the coalition for healthy school food and the creation of a youth caucus. Nika has spoken with over 20 MPs across Canada about campaigns including the Plant Based Treaty. Nika holds a BA in International Affairs from the University of British Columbia and an MA in International Affairs from Carleton University and is the author of Gen Z’s Guide to Global Citizenship.

                         

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                        Nital Jethalal

                        Policy Analyst and Economist, Plant-Based Data

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                        Session: Building a More Compassionate and Sustainable Food System

                        Nital Jethalal is a Toronto-based policy analyst and economist committed to food systems change. Nital is a researcher at Plant-Based Data, a high-level, online database that collects and organizes important academic and institutional literature from a plant-based lens, including health, environment and economics and policy. Nital is the president of VegTO and sits on the board of directors of the Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank and Studio 89, a nonprofit community hub working committed social and sustainable justice through youth leadership development. Nital previously worked on the Plant Based Treaty team, as a strategist and policy advisor to create the global policy framework and playbooks/guides to help stakeholders to shift their local food environments plant-based.

                         

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                        Paulina Siemieniec

                        PhD Candidate, Queen's University

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                        Session: Reproductive Rights for All

                        Paulina Siemieniec is currently a visiting researcher in the faculty of law at the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Philosophy Department at Queen’s University, working under the supervision of Will Kymlicka. Her doctoral research applies disability theory and feminist care ethics to the political agency debate about animals. Her research interests are in exploring what it would mean to empower animals in and through the varied care relationships we share with them as political agents. At Queen’s, Paulina is the coordinator of the Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law, and Ethics reading group, the work-in- progress animal research group, and the disability graduate student network. She is also the editor of the APPLE newsletter and an advisor to the Human-Animal Relations student club at Queen’s. Paulina’s research is informed by her work as a volunteer caregiver at Sandy Pines Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

                         

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                        PJ Nyman

                        Corporate Engagement Manager, Mercy for Animals Canada

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                        Session: The State of Farmed Animal Welfare in Canada

                        Based in Toronto, Canada, PJ Nyman is the corporate engagement manager at Mercy For Animals Canada. In this role, PJ works with companies to adopt and implement responsible sourcing commitments while guiding the organization’s Canadian work to address the country’s most critical farmed animal welfare issues. PJ became interested in animal protection in the food system while earning their Master’s degree in Social and Political Thought from York University where they also taught undergraduate courses in critical sociology and published academic articles in feminist theory and the philosophy of religion. PJ began their professional career in animal advocacy as a campaigner, and later program manager, at one of the largest farmed animal sanctuaries in the United States.

                         

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                        Polina Bochenkova​

                        Visiting Fellow, Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School

                          Session: Protecting Animals Using International Law

                          Polina Bochnekova is Visiting Fellow with the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School. At Harvard, she works on an open archive documenting individual stories of animals affected by the Russia’s war against Ukraine. She holds a double graduate degree from Yale University and École des Hautes études Commerciales de Paris, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University College Roosevelt in the Netherlands. Between her studies, Polina worked in public and private sectors on sustainable agriculture, circular economy, and plastic pollution, and she researched corruption in the Russian banking system.

                           

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                          Rajesh Reddy

                          Director, Animal Law Program, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School

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                          Session: The Future of Animal Rights Litigation

                          Rajesh K. Reddy directs the Animal Law Program at the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School, where he teaches International Animal Law, Animal Legal Philosophy, and Emerging Topics in Animal Law, among other courses. Outside of Lewis & Clark, he sits on the boards of Minding Animals International and the International Coalition for Animal Protection, as well as chairs the International Subcommittee of the Animal Law Section of the American Bar Association.

                           

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                          Randall S. Abate

                          Assistant Dean for Environmental Law Studies and a Professorial
                          Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School

                            Session: The Future of Animal Rights Litigation

                            Randall S. Abate is the Assistant Dean for Environmental Law Studies and a Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining GW Law in July 2022, he held full-time law teaching positions for three decades at six U.S. law schools. From 2018-2022, he served as the inaugural Rechnitz Family and Urban Coast Institute Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy and Director of the Institute for Global Understanding at Monmouth University in New Jersey. His areas of expertise are domestic and international environmental law, climate change law and justice, ocean and coastal law, constitutional law, and animal law. With a focus on climate change law and justice, Dean Abate has lectured and taught courses in more than 25 countries on six continents, and has published six books and about 40 law journal articles and book chapters.

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                            Rebeka Breder

                            Lawyer, Breder Law

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                            Session: Companion Animals, Family Law, & Tax Policy

                            Rebeka has been an animal rights activist her entire life. Rebeka is an animal law lawyer and founder of Breder Law in Vancouver, British Columbia, the first law firm of its kind to exclusively focus on Animal Law in Western Canada. Rebeka is known as a trailblazer in Animal Law, where she acts only to protect and advance the interests of animals. Her cases have, and continue, to set positive precedent for animals. She acts for individuals and organizations. For individuals, Rebeka takes on cases involving the defence of dogs, condominium and strata disputes, pet custody issues, wrongful death, and other animal-related issues. For organizations, Rebeka challenges government authority with respect to its actions or inactions regarding animals, including wildlife and provides general consulting in relation to animal law issues. Rebeka was honoured to be a TEDx SFU speaker in 2022, has been awarded by Best Lawyers Canada, and as a Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer Magazine, winning the Changemakers category. She also started a University of British Columbia Allard Law School Animal Law course in 2013/2014, where she taught as an adjunct professor. Rebeka is the founder and current Chair of the Canadian Bar Association – British Columbia branch, Animal Law section. Rebeka sits on boards on various non profit (animal) organizations. She is also frequently featured by various local, national and international radio, television and print media. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, and canoeing and (attempting at) surfing in British Columbia with her family.

                             

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                            Ryann Fineberg

                            Animal and Climate Advocate

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                            Session: Gen Z as a Spark for Animal Rights: Lessons from Youth-Led Movements

                            Ryann Fineberg is an animal and climate advocate and high school student from Toronto, Canada. She is a Research Assistant at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, working alongside Professor Angela Fernandez and Animal Law Research Associate Krystal Roussel preparing bi-monthly issues of the Canada Edition of the Brooks Animal Law Digest. She has spoken with Canadian parliamentarians about the issues posed by animal agriculture, is a board member on the ProVeg UN Youth Board, and is planning on speaking at the Oxford Animal Ethics Summer School this summer about mobilizing youth to advocate for animals through social media. Ryann recently attended the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal as one of their youngest delegates.

                             

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                            Sam Skinner

                            PhD Candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School

                              Session: Beyond Binaries: Challenging Legal Categorizations of Animals

                              Sam Skinner is a PhD student at Osgoode Hall Law School. Their research focusses on animal law, criminal law, and constitutional law. Their work has been published in Animal Law Review, Animal & Natural Resource Law Review, and Global Journal of Animal Law. Sam defended their LLM thesis “Doomed to Fail: Ag-gag Laws and the Canadian Charter” in 2021, and they hold both a JD degree and a lawyer’s license in Ontario. Sam has worked as Animal Law Research Associate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and currently works in York University’s Law & Society Program.

                               

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                              Scott Tinney

                              Staff Lawyer, Animal Justice

                                Session: The Enforcement Problem

                                Scott is a passionate advocate for animal rights and welfare with a variety of legal experience across numerous practice areas. Prior to joining Animal Justice, Scott was an associate at a large national firm in downtown Toronto, where he developed a pragmatic skill-set and honed his abilities as a researcher, writer, and orator. Scott has appeared before various courts in Canada advocating on behalf of animals, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law in 2018 after completing his undergraduate degree in Political Studies at Queen’s University in 2015. Scott is affiliated with and supports various animal advocacy initiatives and organizations in Toronto and nationally.

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                                Sophie Peutrill

                                Head of Programs, The Animal Law Foundation

                                  Session: The Enforcement Problem

                                  Sophie is an animal protection advocate who has spent her career working on impactful campaigns - specialising in aquatic animals and ocean protection - with organisations including Compassion in World Farming, the United Nations and Purpose. Sophie also completed the Masters in Animal Law and Society at the Autonomous Universit of Barcelona. During her time at Compassion in World Farming, Sophie led the global Rethink Fish campaign, garnering worldwide media coverage on projects including a groundbreaking Scottish salmon investigation and an exhibition at European Parliament on the importance of legislative protections for fish. Now, Sophie is helping to grow The Animal Law Foundation and develop programmes that use the law to improve the lives of countless animals.

                                   

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                                  Tero Kivinen

                                  Doctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law

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                                  Session: European Animal Law: An Inclusive Account

                                  Tero Kivinen is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law. His doctoral dissertation analyzes and critiques select draft treaties and universal declarations on animal welfare and animal rights for their accordance with rhetorical theory. Kivinen works on the research project Animals under a Welfarist Regime, which is part of the Helsinki Animal Law Centre.

                                   

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                                  Therese Shechter

                                  Founder, Trixie Films

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                                  Session: Reproductive Rights for All

                                  Therese Shechter is an award-winning filmmaker, speaker, and the founder of the production company Trixie Films. Her work fuses humor, activism, and personal storytelling to explore and challenge all that is considered sacred about womanhood. Therese began her two-decades- long film career at Robert DeNiro’s film company Tribeca Productions. Since then, her work has been seen globally on television and film festivals, and at many live venues, from Harvard to the Brooklyn Museum to the Kinsey Institute, and at film festivals from Rio de Janeiro to Seoul. Her films are in the collections of hundreds of universities, non-profits, and libraries, and have been featured in The Globe and Mail, Macleans, The Guardian, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, NPR and Q, among others.

                                   

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                                  Tyler Totten

                                  Assistant Professor, Department of Social Science, York University

                                    Session: Beyond Binaries: Challenging Legal Categorizations of Animals

                                    Tyler Totten is a teaching-stream Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Science’s Law & Society program at York University, as well as the Coordinator for the Foundations program in the same department. He regularly teaches courses on contemporary social issues and legal theory, as well as his fourth-year honours seminar on animal rights.

                                     

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                                    Dr. Vanessa Gerritsen

                                    Legal Research Associate

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                                    Session: Global Perspectives on Animal Experimentation

                                    Dr. iur. Vanessa Gerritsen, member of the Executive Board of the Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (TIR, Foundation for the Animal in the Law) in Zurich, completed her law studies at the University of Lucerne in 2006. Various voluntary and professional commitments in different animal protection organisations active in Switzerland and internationally deepened her expertise in animal protection law. From 2009 to 2017, she was a member of the Zurich Committee on Animal Testing. In 2017/2018, she was a member of an administrative committee which was entrusted with the investigation of ministerial deficiencies within the framework of the enforcement of animal protection legislation in the canton of Thurgau. Since 2021, she has been a member of the AniCura Internal Review Board, an independent body of Mars Veterinary Health (MVH) for the assessment of clinical studies in veterinary medicine. She is co-author of several legal opinions and leads various TIR projects. In 2020, she joined the Board of Trustees of Das Tier + wir, a foundation promoting the teaching of ethical values education in schools. In 2021, she completed work on her dissertation on the weighing of interests in animal experimentation licensing procedures (summa cum laude).

                                     

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                                    Vanessa Shakib

                                    Co-founder, Advancing Law for Animals

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                                    Session: Unconventional Approaches to Challenging Factory Farming

                                    Vanessa is an expert in animal law, government accountability, and illegal business practices. Her work has been featured by CNN, Fox News, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, USA Today, the Guardian, Science Magazine, and more. Vanessa co-founded and co-directs Advancing Law for Animals, a non-profit law firm for our non-human friends. There, she develops impact litigation to further the interests of animals exploited in research and food production. Vanessa is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School, and was awarded 2022-2023 SBA Adjunct Professor of the Year. She regularly presents talks as an invited expert in animal law both nationally and abroad.

                                     

                                    Prior to animal law, Vanessa specialized in illegal taxation, consumer protection, and inverse condemnation, among other practice areas. Her track record in government oversight informs her work at Advancing Law for Animals, where she has successfully challenged cruel and illegally-promulgated regulations at the federal level, and lack of animal-welfare enforcement at the local level. Vanessa continues to consult on a variety of legal matters through her private practice.

                                     

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                                    Veera Koponen

                                    Doctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law

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                                    Session: European Animal Law: An Inclusive Account

                                    Veera Koponen is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law. In her doctoral dissertation, Koponen aims to determine the general principles of Finnish animal law and to find a balance between animal welfare and human rights. Koponen works on the research project Animals under a Welfarist Regime, which is part of the Helsinki Animal Law Centre.

                                     

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                                    Veerle Platvoet

                                    PhD Candidate, University of Helsinki

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                                    Session: European Animal Law: An Inclusive Account

                                    Veerle Platvoet is a second year PhD researcher at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Her research forms part of the Aniwere research project, funded by the Academy of Finland. The research project aims to uncover the foundations of the welfarist regime in Europe. In her research, Veerle aims to intersect environmental law and animal welfare law, to establish the foundations of wild animal law. In doing so, she analyzes international, European, and national laws to the extent that they apply to wild animals. She is part of the Helsinki Animal Law Centre, as well as an Associated Member of the Animals & Biodiversity Think Tank from the Global Research Network, and a member of the Research Group on Rights of Nature and Animals.

                                     

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                                    Will Lowrey

                                    Founder and Legal Counsel, Animal Partisan

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                                    Session: Unconventional Approaches to Challenging Factory Farming

                                    Will Lowrey is the founder and Legal Counsel for Animal Partisan, a legal advocacy organization focused on challenging unlawful conduct in animal agriculture and research. Previously, Will served as Legal Counsel for Animal Outlook, where he divided his time between civil litigation and undercover investigations. Will has substantial experience using private complaint mechanisms to enforce criminal animal protection laws, has used public records laws to expose animal cruelty, and has engaged in numerous lawsuits against the government and industrial agriculture, including cases involving administrative challenges, false advertising, and public nuisance. Will taught Animal Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and regularly acts as a guest lecturer at other law schools. After law school, Will clerked in the Superior Court of New Jersey. Will resides in Virginia where he writes animal- related fiction and serves as a resident caretaker for a small nonprofit sanctuary for formerly farmed animals.

                                     

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