Center for Animal Law hosts conference on legal treatment of animals in contemporary agribusiness

Is it possible to ensure humane treatment for animals raised for consumption? Are current regulations enough? Are genetically modified foods plainly identifiable to consumers? 

The Center for Animal Law at DePaul University College of Law explores these questions at a daylong symposium, Animals as Food: The Legal Treatment of Animals in Contemporary Agribusiness and Factory Farming. The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 30, 2013, at the DePaul Center, 1 East Jackson Blvd, Chicago.   

“Our aim is to facilitate a balanced dialogue about the raising and slaughtering of farm animals,” said Margit Livingston, faculty director for the Center for Animal Law. “Specifically, the symposium will take a look at the law’s role in protecting animals destined for consumption, the emergence of genetically modified food choices in the marketplace and the importance of clear and accurate food labeling.”

Gary Francione, distinguished professor of law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, will deliver the keynote address. Francione, a well-known figure in the modern animal rights movement, will present some of the legal challenges in animal law when animals are viewed as property. “If we really believe animals have moral value; if we really believe that animals are not just things, we must fundamentally change our behavior and seriously look at the matter of animal use and not just the matter of animal treatment,” said Francione.

Panel discussions will focus on topical issues involving animals in today’s agribusiness practices, including the raising and slaughtering of farm animals, ag-gag laws, food labeling and regulatory issues. 

Now in its 11th year, the Center for Animal Law’s mission is to advance the field of animal law by regularly contributing scholarship to the field, by providing educational and research opportunities for students, and by facilitating the exchange of ideas among leading scholars in the field.