Past Events

April 9, 2014
Pet Study Break


April 2, 2014
Discussion with Matt Dominquez of the Humane Society

GW SALDF hosted Matt Dominquez, Public Policy Manager for Farm Animal Protection at the Humane Society of the United States, to discuss legislative efforts to suppress free speech using "ag-gag" laws.


March 24, 2014
Screening of "Parrot Confidential"

GW SALDF hosted a screening of the new PBS documentary "Parrot Confidential" and a discussion with the film's director Allison Argo. The film highlights the plight of captive birds both in the U.S. and abroad.  Captive birds are the largest population of captive wildlife in the world.  Yet, most people are surprised to learn that parrots and other exotic birds commonly sold in the pet trade or used for other entertainment purposes do not have specific protections under the federal Animal Welfare Act.  Moreover, birds are often excluded from animal welfare legislation and existing animal cruelty statutes. 


March 7–9, 2014
Second Annual Reptile and Amphibian Law Symposium & Workshop


February 18, 2014
Online Debate: “Animal Sentience, Science and Legislation: What Are the Links?” 

Professor Joan Schaffner participated in an online discussion about the link between animal welfare legislation and our current scientific knowledge of animal sentience. Along with fellow participant Antoine F. Goetschel, a Swiss animal rights lawyer, Professor Schaffner responded to questions about the current legal landscape and her hopes for the future. "Legislation is the only means by which we as a society may officially enforce our moral codes of conduct when we use animals," she wrote. "Sentient beings feel pain and joy and have intrinsic worth, and thus when we allow their use, we must set standards to protect their interests."

Read the discussion  


February 16–22, 2014
ALDF National Justice for Animals Week Panel

This panel focused on the constitutionality of the newest iteration of the federal crush video law in light of the recent Texas federal court decision striking the law as unconstitutional.


January 27-30, 2014
Animal Week

2014 Animal Week Events Included:

  • Free Meatless Monday breakfast
  • Odette Wilkins, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Alliance discussing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
  • Screening of the documentary Blackfish

September 27, 2013
Nonhuman Rights Project Lecture

Steven Wise, world renown animal rights legal scholar, lawyer, and author, and founder of the Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights presented on the Nonhuman Rights Project.

View photos from this event


July 13–14, 2013
2013 No Kill Conference Huge Success

With registrations exceeding 600 and attendees traveling from 45 states and 10 nations, the 5th Annual No Kill Conference, co-sponsored with Nathan Winograd and the No Kill Advocacy Center brought together experts in the animal sheltering, veterinary, and legal fields to discuss how we can create a no kill society and save the lives of millions of companion animals from death in our shelters every year. This year’s theme was "On the March." In 2009 there was ONE No Kill community—Tompkins County NY. Last year, one new community per week achieved a save rate in excess of 90% and currently over 160 communities representing over 400 cities and towns across America have save rates between 90% and 99%. This year we celebrated that achievement and help other communities do the same.

View event photos


May 30, 2013
2013 Animal Law Night


February 15–17, 2013
National Animal Law Competitions

GW Law students competed at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.


January 31, 2013
Save the Rock Creek Park Deer

Jessica Almy, an attorney at Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, came to speak about the ongoing case filed against the National Park Service for proposing to control the deer population through lethal methods. She discussed why the deer are not the problem in the park and other non-lethal methods of controlling the deer population.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013
January Pet Study Break

Read news coverage about this event [Huffington Post]


January 30, 2013
Sneak Preview of “Speciesism: The Movie,” by 3L Mark Devries

Most of the animals used for food in the United States are raised in giant, bizarre factories, hidden deep in remote areas of the countryside. We set out to investigate. Speciesism: The Movie takes viewers on a sometimes funny, sometimes frightening adventure, crawling through the bushes that hide these factories, flying in airplanes above their bizarre “manure lagoons,” and coming face-to-face with their owners.

But this is just the beginning. In 1975, a young writer published a book arguing that no justifications exist for considering humans more important than members of other species. It slowly began to gain attention. Today, a quickly growing number of prominent individuals and political activists are adopting its conclusions. They have termed the assumption of human superiority speciesism. As a result, they rank these animal factories among the greatest evils in our history. Speciesism: The Movie brings viewers face-to-face with the leaders of this developing movement, and, for the first time ever on film, fully examines the purpose of what they are setting out to do.


January 29, 2013
Panel on Tracey v. Solesky and Its Aftermath

Two experts and participants in the events surrounding the Tracey v. Solesky case, Richard Schimel, GW '78, Budow and Noble, PC and Heidi Meinzer, Bean, Kinney, and Korman, PC, in which the Maryland Court of Appeals held all pit bulls "inherently dangerous," shared their experiences and discuss next steps.


January 28, 2013
Farm Animal Welfare and Sustainable Agriculture

Bruce Friedrich, Senior Directive for Strategic Initiatives at Farm Sanctuary spoke about farm animal welfare laws, the improvements that need to be made, and their impact on sustainable agriculture.


August 11-12, 2012
No Kill Conference

Some 800 people from 44 states and 10 countries attended the 4th Annual No Kill Conference hosted by the George Washington University Animal Law Program and co-sponsored by Nathan Winograd and the No Kill Advocacy Center and No Kill Nation. The Conference was a huge success, bringing together the nation's most successful shelter directors, shelter veterinarians, and top animal lawyers to help attendees create a No Kill community and teach them how to use the legal system to save the lives of animals!


May 31, 2012
Law Night, DC Week For The Animals

The George Washington University Animal Law Program hosted Law Night as part of DC’s Week for the Animals. Speakers included Nancy Perry, Senior Vice-President for Government Relations for the ASPCA, Scott Giacoppo, Vice-President of External Affairs and Chief Programs Officer for the Washington Humane Society, and Tami Santelli, Maryland State Director for the Humane Society of the United States. Topics included lobbying for humane animal treatment on the federal level, the current state of animal laws in Washington, DC, and a recent Maryland court ruling on pit bulls.


April 11, 2012
Washington Humane Society Mobile Adoption Center at GW Law School


July 30-31, 2011
No Kill Conference 2011 -Fight the Power!

The third international No Kill Conference was a spectacular success! Over 30 attendees from 40 states and 8 countries were in attendance to learn from the most successful shelter directors, those who are saving upwards of 96% of all animals in their shelters, and top animal lawyers who have among other successes fought breed discriminatory laws, eliminated the use of gas chambers, and helped free condemned dogs.


June 3, 2011
Third Annual DC Week for the Animals Law Night

The third annual DC Week for the Animals Law Night, co-sponsored by the GW Animal Law Program and Animal World USA was a hit. The panel brought together experts in animal law to discuss hot topics in animal law. Presenters included Scott Giacoppo, Vice President, External Affairs & Chief Programs Officer, Washington Humane Society; Molly Lunaris, Program Specialist, Animal Disease Prevention Division DC Department of Health; Becky Robinson, President & Co-Founder, Alley Cat Allies; and Christine Sequenzia, Federal Policy Advisor, Animal Welfare Institute.


First Annual DC Week for the Animals Law Night

The first annual DC Week for the Animals Law Night, co-sponsored by the GWU Animal Law Program and Animal World USA was a hit. The panel brought together experts in animal law to discuss hot topics in animal law locally, nationally and internationally. Scott Giacoppo, CPO of Washington Humane Society, discuss animal cruelty, the laws and enforcement in DC followed by Eric Glitzenstein, partner Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal who described the highly publicized and ground-breaking case he is litigartin against Ringling Brothers challenging their treatment of elephants. Next, Russ Mead, Executive Director & General Counsel of Farm Sanctuary recounted the current legal protections for farm animals, noting the recent movement in some states to ban gestation crates and battery cages. Nancy Perry, Vice President of Government Affairs for The Humane Society of the United States presented an update on the status of new federal and state laws designed to promote animal welfare. Attorney Raj Panjwani, India's highly honored and leading animal advocate, discussed Bovines in India and Indian Supreme Court case protecting them. The panel was closed by Lisa La Fontaine, President & CEO of Washington Humane Society, who presented the plans for a bright future for DC companion animals.


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