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Animal Law Podcast #67: The Case of the Intertwined Suffering of Pigs and People

By Mariann Sullivan — December 30, 2020

On this episode of the Animal Law Podcast, I welcome Laura Fox, Staff Attorney for Farm Animal Protection at The Humane Society of the United States, to talk about the 4th Circuit’s decision in McKiver v Murphy Brown, which has created quite a stir in the animal law world. It is a story which we have all heard before — neighbors of pig factory farms in North Carolina whose homes, some of which have been in their families for generations, have been rendered close to uninhabitable by the stench and degradation of the environment caused by nearby pig factory farms. The reason that this case stands out in particular for animal advocates is the extraordinary concurrence by Judge James Harvie Wilkinson III, which not only finds merit in the plaintiffs’ arguments, but sympathizes with the animals whose misery and confinement are not only horrific, but are part and parcel of the harms created by these facilities. You are not going to want to miss this episode.

Laura Fox joined HSUS’s Animal Protection Law department in 2015 as an attorney focusing on issues related to puppy mills and now is the Staff Attorney for Farm Animal Protection. Laura works to protect farm animals from the industrialized practices of factory farms, including by reducing extreme confinement practices and challenging their environmental impacts.

A large aspect of Laura’s work is spent filing complaints with federal and state agencies and litigating issues arising under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and other federal statutes, as well as litigating consumer protection cases at the state level.

Laura is also an Adjunct Professor of Animal Law at George Mason’s law school and has taught courses in philosophy and ethics.


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