Lewis & Clark sponsors first-ever animal law forum in Africa

The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) sponsored Africa’s first animal law focused forum in September, held at the United Nations Environment complex in Nairobi, Kenya. Natasha Dolezal, director of International Animal Law, worked together with the Africa Network for Animal Welfare to organize the Convention to be held concurrently within the larger African Animal Welfare Conference.

The Conference’s theme was “People, Animals and the Planet: One Health, One Welfare” and featured experts and participants from various fields such as animal welfare, conservation, law enforcement, environmental policy, as well as the non-profit sector, academics, and representatives from development organizations.

Through the support of donors, CALS was able to subsidize the cost of attendance for fifty law students from local law schools in Kenya. These students along with prosecutors, veterinarians and vet students, animal welfare and protection NGOS from all over Africa, attended the day and a half event. Associate Dean Pamela Frasch opened the convention by explaining the field of animal law and its rapid growth in legal education. Over the following two days, the Convention featured presentations from our L&C African LL.M. graduates on topics ranging from the prosecution of animal crimes to the consumptive use of wildlife with perspectives from Kenya and South Africa.

From LL.M. Winnie Onkoba of Kenya, “I was excited to attend the Africa Animal Welfare Conference and the first ever Africa Animal Law Convention. This was a conference that brought together like-minded people who are interested in working towards promoting the welfare of the African animal. I had the opportunity to talk about the need for Animal Law Education in Africa and especially in Kenya as education is the Key to the future. It is only through education that many can learn why animals are important and the need to protect them.”

The Convention wrapped up with Natasha Dolezal speaking about opportunities in animal law around the world, the animal law LL.M. scholarship program at Lewis & Clark, and how students and advocates can get started changing the world for animals today.