Joining us on the Our Hen House podcast this week are Joan E. Schaffner, JD and Rajesh K. Reddy, JD, PhD. Joan and Raj are founding members of Lawyers for the Convention on Animal Protection, an international team of law practitioners and academics committed to advocating for a global animal protection agreement. They join the podcast to share details about the Convention on Animal Protection (CAP), and how the concept came to fruition just in time for the pandemic. In our conversation, we discuss how zoonotic viruses, including COVID-19, are directly related to animal exploitation and mistreatment, as well as how the CAP aims to mitigate the risk of future pandemics. But the proposed treaty goes further than that. Joan and Raj also explore how the treaty seeks to provide certain minimum protections for all animals in human hands as well as their different lived realities—from animals used in research and testing to companion animals to farmed animals and captive wildlife—and also discuss some of the roadblocks that face such an effort.
Joan E. Schaffner, JD, is an Associate Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School. Ze received a JD from the University of Southern California and an MS in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Joan is co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) International Section, International Animal Law Committee; Past Chair and Newsletter Vice-Chair of the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Animal Law Committee; Founding Chair of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Animal Law; and Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Joan has received the ABA TIPS Andrew C. Hecker Memorial Award, the AALS Excellence in Animal Law Award: Scholarship Teaching-Service, and the ABA TIPS Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award.
Dr. Rajesh K. Reddy directs the Global Animal Law and Animal Law Advanced Degree Programs at the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School, where he teaches International Animal Law, Animal Legal Philosophy, and Emerging Topics in Animal Law, among others. Raj also serves on the Lewis & Clark tri-campus Committee on Equity and Inclusion, the Law School’s International Law Committee, and as a Confidential Advocate. Outside of Lewis & Clark, he chairs the International Subcommittee of the Animal Law Section of the American Bar Association and serves as a board member of Minding Animals International. He has previously served on the executive committees for the Animal Law Section of the Oregon State Bar, Humane Voters Oregon, and the diversity, equity, and inclusion nonprofit, Encompass.
“Once the umbrella treaty is negotiated, there will be an opportunity for states to provide much greater protections for animals and against pandemics.” –Joan E. Schaffner, JD
“Animal protection is important for pandemic prevention, but it’s critically important for conservation, for habitat preservation, and the like.” –Dr. Rajesh K. Reddy
Highlights for Episode 635:
- The goals for the Convention on Animal Protection and why it’s so important to make it internationally accessible
- Where pandemics originate, generally speaking, and how COVID-19 specifically was able to spread around the world
- Why factory farms, just like live animal markets, are potential sources of zoonotic diseases
- What countries can expect if they sign the Convention on Animal Protection, what they would need to do, and the principles they are committing to uphold
- Two progressive provisions detailed in the treaty from a social and a legal standpoint
- How the Convention for Animal Protection guards against countries using it as a smokescreen
- Why Dr. Reddy compares the treaty to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling
Connect with Joan E. Schaffner:
Connect with Dr. Rajesh K. Reddy:
Connect with Lawyers for the CAP
Connect with the Convention for Animal Protection:
Connect with Our Hen House:
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