New Animal Law Database Advocates for Farmed Animals
Alice DiConcetto, LLM ’16, helped to create a new database of laws and policies that impact farmed animals: the Coller Animal Law Forum.
There are many ways for lawyers to advocate for farmed animals, but common among those approaches is an important need: the availability of comprehensive legal research tools to aid their work. Recently, one of our Animal Law LLM Alumni, Alice DiConcetto (’16, France), who founded a nonprofit organization called Animal Law Europe, helped to fill that need by creating a new database: the Coller Animal Law Forum (CALF).
CALF is an interactive database that collates and analyzes various laws and policies that impact farmed animals. This resource is geared toward animal advocates and policymakers who are looking for examples of good legislation from which they may draw in order to draft constructive policy proposals of their own. The database grew out of a need for a centralized, searchable location of “better practice laws,” which are laws that, though not always 100% ideal, make an overall positive contribution towards the transition away from industrial farm animal production.
One of the most valuable things this database may impart to advocates is that there are many different ways to regulate animal agriculture beyond animal welfare legislation. In Europe, animal advocates and policymakers traditionally focused their efforts on changing animal welfare legislation as a way to end factory farming, often to the neglect of many other types of laws - environmental and labor, for example - that enable this horrendous method of food production to continue. CALF thus provides categorization of the different types of laws that shape factory farming so that animal advocates can identify the many legal levers available to them to create change and substantiate the need for more policy coherence in lawmaking.
As a legal advisor and founder of Animal Law Europe, Alice collaborated with the Jeremy Coller Foundation on this important project. She oversaw the content, which involved researching and evaluating each law in the database, with the valuable help of Grace Martin, an intern at the Coller Foundation, and Elliot Teperman, a Coller Foundation program officer who spearheaded the management of this sizable undertaking. Additionally, the other area where Alice was able to lend her expertise was in the drafting of factsheets that accompany the main organizing topics of the database.
The CALF launch event took place on October 14th and was attended by more than 120 participants across 20 countries. In 2022, CALF will continue to grow in collaboration with animal law centers around the world, taking on additional database entries and new factsheets, with updates to reflect changes in the law. CALF is live and free to use at calf.law.
Reflecting on the experience, Alice says, “I’m so proud to have worked on this important project for animal lawyers who work tirelessly to protect farmed animals around the world.”
The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) was founded in 2008 with a mission to educate the next generation of animal law attorneys and advance animal protection through the law. With vision and bold risk-taking, CALS has since developed into a world-renowned animal law epicenter, with the most comprehensive animal law curriculum offered anywhere. In addition, CALS is the only program that offers an advanced legal degree in animal law, now offered both in-person and online, and three specialty animal law clinics. CALS is a nonprofit organization and is only able to provide these educational opportunities through donations and grants.