Defending Animal Rights
By Elisabeth Donovan, 3L
“People like people who help animals,” attorney Anne Perry said to a crowd of TJSL students. Perry works for the U.S. Department of Justice prosecuting people for illegal animal smuggling and animal crimes. “Sometimes it’s not politically popular, but the public sees standing on the side of animals as a noble cause,” she said.
Perry was one of four panelists who visited TJSL on April 17 to speak to students about how they can get involved in the area of Animal Law.
Besides Perry, the other panelists in attendance included: ’08 TJSL Alumna Renee Galente, who is Partner at Galente & Ganci where she deals with animal law in conjunction with personal property cases; Jane Henning, an Animal Law professor at University of San Diego School of Law; and Brian Pease, an environmental and animal law attorney in Banker’s Hill who has won several lawsuits protecting seals in La Jolla.
“Many fields of law come together with animal law,” Pease explained. “This is an area that is dynamic and evolving. For example, animals are considered property and you can’t get emotional distress damages if an animal is killed, but we know they are different from a table and a chair.”
The panel was held in conjunction with Student Animal Legal Defense Fund week, in which club members came together to raise money for the San Diego County Humane Society and educate students about issues in animal law.
“Of all the industrialized countries, the U.S. is behind the others in the way we treat animals,” Henning said. “However, there is more of a consciousness of animals right now. It’s about educating the public, even though you’re up against big lobbies.”
“Animal law can be an unapproachable area of law to many students because they don’t want to be seen as a radical,” Student Animal Legal Defense Fund President Brittany Lee ‘3L said. “ I think our panel proved just how untrue that is by having attorneys share their everyday experiences in animal law. “
To learn more about the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and how you can get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org