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Animal Law Podcast #31: The Case of the Languishing, Lonely Lolita

By John Frusciante — December 27, 2017

Welcome to the 31st episode of the Animal Law Podcast! Mariann is joined once again by Delcianna Winders, PETA’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement, to discuss PETA v Miami Seaquarium, which she just argued in the 11th Circuit. The case involves an animal with whom you are probably also familiar. Lolita is an orca who, in spite of enormous efforts to help her both from on the ground activists and activist lawyers, continues to languish in absolutely hideous conditions at the Miami Seaquarium. The case we will be discussing today holds out the best hope for getting her out of the hideous conditions in which she lives and setting precedent to require that the Endangered Species Act be enforced in a way that does more for the animals it purports to protect.

Though Delci is now with PETA, she recently completed two years as the first Academic Fellow of the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program. She has published extensively both in academic venues and in the popular press and she has taught animal law at a number of prominent law schools. She is also an author of the chapter on animal welfare in the upcoming third edition of the American Bar Association treatise on the Endangered Species Act.

Delcianna Winders is vice president and deputy general counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement for the PETA Foundation and a Haub Environmental Visiting Scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. Delci’s legal advocacy pushes authorities to create and enforce laws designed to help captive animals who are suffering in roadside zoos or beaten into performing in circuses, and her scholarship focuses on the intersection of administrative and animal law.  She recently completed a two-year stint as Harvard’s first-ever Animal Law & Policy academic fellow, has published in media outlets and law reviews across the country, and was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine as one of “Six Women Who Dare.”

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