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Category Archives: legislation

The Paw Project: A Documentary

The UCLA Animal Law Program is proud to announce its screening of the documentary The Paw Project, which will be held at the UCLA School of Law (Room 1420) on October 24, 2012 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Paw Project documentary is an inspiring David and Goliath story of a grassroots movement to protect felines, both large and small, from the cruelty of declawing and how the movement has prevailed despite the efforts of well-funded professional veterinary associations to thwart the movement.

The Paw Project

In the United States today, approximately 25% of domesticated cats are declawed. Declawing is the amputation of the last bone in a cat’s toes. Despite the physical and behavioral harm inflicted on cats who are declawed, many veterinarians continue to recommend the procedure — which costs upwards of $1,200 per hour — even for very young kittens.

These are animals we love, and with whom we share our homes. Why aren’t we being told the truth of what the declawing procedure involves? What goes on when the vet takes our beloved companions in the back of the veterinary clinic? The Paw Project documentary chronicles the happy and unexpected twist of fate that led to the protection of many animals through the grassroots advocacy led by Dr. Conrad and The Paw Project. We invite our readers to watch the trailer for The Paw Project documentary [VIDEO].

The screening will be followed by a panel presentation and Q&A session, featuring an exciting panel of speakers, including: filmmaker Dr. Jennifer Conrad, editor Allan Holzman, and David R. Ginsburg, Executive Director of the UCLA Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property Law Program. Detailed biographies of our speakers are provided below. Admission to the conference is free; parking is $11.00.

Directions to the UCLA School of Law:
Take the 405 to the Sunset Boulevard exit.
Sunset Boulevard (east) to Hilgard Avenue, turn right.
Follow Hilgard Avenue to the Westholme Drive (second light) entrance to the campus.
Turn right on Westholme Drive.
The parking kiosk is immediately on the right.
Please tell the attendant that you are attending an event at the Law School, and you will be directed to the nearest available parking lot (most likely Lot 2).

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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9th Annual National Animal Law Competitions Start Next Week!

From February 24-26, 2012, the UCLA Animal Law Program will have the honor of hosting the Lewis & Clark’s Center for Animal Law Studies’ 9th Annual National Animal Law Competitions (NALC)! The NALC provides law students from schools across the county an opportunity to develop knowledge in the field of animal law while honing their written and oral advocacy skills. The event features three separate competitions:

  1. Legislative Drafting & Lobbying Competition;
  2. Closing Argument Competition; and,
  3. Appellate Moot Court Competition.

To view a schedule of the events, please click HERE. Members of the public are invited to attend the final competition rounds taking place at the UCLA School of Law on Sunday, February 26, 2012, as well as the NALC Awards Ceremony that will follow.

 

EPA Rule Banning Rat Poison in Danger

Have you ever noticed the poison traps next to buildings or in parking structures? Instead of practicing safe exclusion measures and conscientiously disposing of trash, people often allow rat and mice populations to grow and then justify their killing of these poor animals with methods that cause horrific suffering.

As bad as those rat traps are, current EPA rules allow for the indiscriminate use of non-containerized rodent poisons in areas where rats, mice, wildlife, children, and other companion animals can consume it quite readily. Loose bait rodenticides are cheaper to produce and use than containerized poisons, so it is not surprising that more deaths occur in lower-income areas. Moreover, rodenticides have become increasingly toxic, and they can be sold in unlimited amounts, greatly increasing the risks to all animals and the environment, which affects all animals, including rats and mice.

A couple of years ago, the EPA agreed to new rules that would limit the amount and toxicity of rat poisons sold to residential consumers, as well as prohibit the sale of loose bait rodenticides to residential consumers. The rules – supposed to go into effect early this month – would make it illegal to sell rat and mouse poisons to residential consumers unless the packaging is such that only a rat or mouse could get in, not a child or other animal. Other rules would limit the toxicity and amount of rodenticides that can be sold to retail consumers at one time. Taken together, implementation of the rules should result in less usage of rat poisons, which could be of some help to rats and mice as well as to other animals.

Two top rodenticide-producing companies (D-Con and Woodstream Corporation) are among four companies fighting against the ban, with protests to the EPA and stated intent to challenge the rules if implemented. If the ban is not implemented, it will be left up to each property owner to decide how to kill animals they believe are pests. If the rules are not implemented, residential consumers would continue to be able to buy large amounts of poison, and they would continue to be able to buy the most toxic compounds.

It is troubling that poisons are used at all. Certainly humans could do a better job of preventing the growth of animal populations they consider to be “pests” by non-lethal means. On the other hand, incremental bans and restrictions like these could be understood as positive attempts to limit the extent of harm we currently engage in and to begin to change the public’s thinking about entitlement to use poisons. If you would like to read more, the following links provide more information.

Additional Reading:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Takes Major Actions to Reduce Americans’ Risk from Mouse and Rat Poisons / Move Will Better Protect Children, Pets, and Wildlife (June 7, 2011).

Robert McClure & Environmental Health News, Rat Poisons Endanger 10,000 Children Every Year in U.S., Scientific American (Dec. 14, 2010).

Ryan Tracy, EPA to Ban Some Rat Poisons, Wall Street Journal (June 7, 2011).

Home Channel News, Bait Pellet Rodenticide to Remain on Shelves (Mar. 14, 2011).

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2011 in advocacy, epa, legislation

 

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California Legislative Round-Up, Part 1

Logo for the UCLA Paw ReviewThe UCLA Animal Law Program will be hosting its first event next week, a workshop for animal rescuers titled Saving Animals’ Lives Through Shelter Rescue. To celebrate, we will focus our next posts to the UCLA Paw Review on proposed California legislation that affects companion animals.

The first bill on which we would like to focus is a bill introduced on February 2, 2011 by the California Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture: AB 222, which is simply titled “Food and Agriculture: Omnibus Bill.” The bill, as amended, would amend Sections 31108 (pertaining to the holding period for stray dogs) and 31752 (pertaining to the holding period for stray cats) of the Food & Agricultural Code to define the term “business day,” for purposes of California’s shelter laws, as any day that a public or private shelter is open to the public for at least 4 hours, excluding state holidays. Existing law requires that the holding period for a stray dog or a stray cat impounded in a shelter be six business days, not including the day of impoundment, with exceptions, as provided.

Shelter dogThe impetus for amendment was an opinion issued by the California Court of Appeal in Veena Purigoy v. Glenn Howell [PDF], which held that “Saturday is not a ‘business day’ within the meaning of section 31108(a).” The bill appears to have been sponsored by the State Humane Association of California. The Assembly Analysis of the bill states that, “The State Humane Association of California has raised this as a clarifying change since most private, and many public, shelters are open on Saturdays to provide the public more opportunity to rescue and/or adopt animals. Many are not open every day of a typical business week, that is Monday to Friday, for that purpose. The Association states that this change will provide the shelters the clarification needed so they don’t need to add additional days to their holding period and to meet the court’s interpretation of current statute.”

What do you think, readers? Should the legislature define “business day” to mean something other the its usual and ordinary meaning? Defining Saturday as a “business day” effectively shortens the holding period for dogs and cats; do you think that is consistent with the legislative intent of the Hayden Act to lengthen the holding period for animals taken into California’s animal shelters in order to increase opportunities for adoption and redemption? If you disagree with this change of California shelter law, please contact your representatives. For guidance on how to do so, and how to get started with legislative advocacy, please see the UCLA School of Law LibGuide entitled California Legislative Advocacy.

 

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