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Animal Law and Environmental Law: Exploring the Connections and Synergies

March 2016

Citation: ELR 10177

Author: Randall S. Abate, Elizabeth Hallinan, Joan E. Schaffner, and Bruce Myers

Environmental law, with its intricate layers of international, federal, state, and local laws, is more established than its animal counterpart. Yet animal law faces many of the same legal and strategic challenges that environmental law faced in seeking to establish a more secure foothold, both in the United States and abroad. In What Can Animal Law Learn From Environmental Law?, editor Randall S. Abate brought together academics, advocates, and legal professionals to examine the very different histories of environmental and animal law, as well as the legal and policy frameworks that bridge the two fields. On November 16, 2015, the Environmental Law Institute held a Dialogue about these critical issues. Drawing on lessons from history, politics, and law, the panelists examined how environmental law’s successes and shortcomings can inform animal law and how the two fields can work together for mutual gain in the future. They also explored important intersections between the two fields, such as concentrated animal feeding operations, agriculture and climate change, the legal valuation of nature, and other critical topics. In this Dialogue, we present a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Randall S. Abate (moderator) is Professor of Law, Director of the Center for International Law and Justice, and Project Director of the Environment, Development & Justice Program at Florida A&M College of Law, and Editor of What Can Animal Law Learn From Environmental Law? Elizabeth Hallinan is an animal law attorney and consultant, previously with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Compassion Over Killing. Joan E. Schaffner is Associate Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School. Bruce Myers is a public interest animal and environmental lawyer based in Washington, D.C., previously a Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law Institute.

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