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‘Animals and the Law’ forum explores the road ahead

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Words
Jane Munro
Published
10 January 2011
A forum exploring the legal rights of animals entitled ‘Animals and the Law: the Road Ahead’ is being held at Southern Cross University in Lismore on Saturday, January 15.

The forum will include presentations by two internationally recognised animal protection and advocacy speakers: Steven White, lecturer at Griffith Law School who has published widely on animal law, and Mark Pearson, Executive Director of Animal Liberation, activist and animal cruelty test case litigant.

Head of the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University, Dr Jennifer Nielsen, said animal law was emerging as a significant social justice issue.

“The School of Law and Justice has recently developed a specialist animal law unit in response to student demand for the subject and we have had more than 80 law students enrol from across the country which has exceeded our expectations and makes this the largest student group studying animal law in Australia,” Dr Nielsen said.

“This forum will offer our students and members of the local community an incredible opportunity to speak with prominent experts in this field.”

'Animals and the Law: the Road Ahead' is being hosted by the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre Animal Law & Education Project in partnership with Southern Cross University’s School of Law and Justice. The partnership is supported by a grant from Voiceless, the Animal Protection Institute. Event coordinator, Amber Hall, said there was a lot of interest in these issues on the Northern Rivers.

“There are a great many people in our community who care about animals and are eager to know more about how we can better protect them. We are pleased and grateful that we have received a high level of support from corporate sponsors, all of whom are interested in further and better legal protections for animals,” Ms Hall said.

The forum has been coordinated with the assistance of the Southern Cross University Animal Law Club which is a student organisation that was formed in late 2010. Club representative Anna Ludvik said animal justice issues affected everyone in society.

“Whether we are talking about our pets, raising or keeping animals for food production or the use of animals as entertainment - this is an important issue,” Ms Ludvik said.

The free forum is open to the public and is being held in Room Z181 at Southern Cross University (enter via Rifle Range Road) on Saturday, January 15 from 9am to 4.30 pm. Organisers will be collecting gold coin donations to go towards the Community Legal Centre’s Animal Law & Education Project.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided and people wanting to attend are asked to RSVP for catering and seating purposes by Friday, January 14. For more information or to RSVP contact Amber Hall on 6626 6987 or email: [email protected].