September 13, 2022

Raising Awareness Regarding the Treatment of Animals in Asia

Meet Lyudmilia Shegay and Zihao Yu, our CALS Global Ambassadors and Animal Law LLM Alumns, who are advancing legal protections for animals in Kazakhstan and China through education and outreach.

As CALS Global Ambassadors, Lu Shegay (LLM ’20, Kazakhstan) and Zihao Yu (LLM ’20, China), set out to spark a much-needed conversation about the treatment of animals in their home countries in Asia. Lu focused on the treatment of aquatic animals while Zihao focused on the treatment of farmed animals in mainland China.

Shortly following their graduation from our Animal Law LLM Program they co-founded the Institute of Animal Law of Asia (IALA), which just celebrated its second anniversary. Read this conversation they had about their vision for IALA with CALS Professor of Practice Joyce Tischler. Through IALA and with support from CALS, Lu and Zihao created and shared an impressive array of legal resources, including webinars and academic blogs about animal welfare in Asia.

Regarding the impact of their project in improving the lives of animals, Lu and Zihao say: “Our team at the Institute of Animal Law of Asia relies on education as a major tool to raise global awareness about animal protection in our home countries and beyond. Working on helping animals in different countries while taking into account various cultural backgrounds is challenging. By producing research, academic, and educational materials, we were able to reach many individuals and groups who became interested in learning more about animal law. We are immensely grateful for having been chosen as CALS Ambassadors and being able to share the importance of animal protection with more individuals.”

Lu’s Global Ambassador Project

Lu’s project, “Enhancing Legal Regulations for Aquatic Animals in Kazakhstan,” aimed to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of human activities on aquatic animals, as well as the need to extend legal protections to them.

For her project, Lu created an impressive number of webinars focused on aquatic animal welfare issues around the world. These webinars are available without cost at this link.

Lu’s project increased interest for aquatic animals in Kazakhstan and around the world. Additionally, in March 2022 Kazakhstan adopted its first animal protection law. With this law, Kazakhstan became the first country in Central Asia to enact animal law legislation. While the new law does not include aquatic animals, Lu hopes that it will lay the foundation for aquatic animals to be protected in the future.

Lu’s interest in animal law began when she came across reading materials and cases about animals during her undergraduate studies. She was dismayed by Kazakhstan’s attitude toward animals and the lack of legal protection for them. This inspired her to study animal law to advocate for animals in the legal system and to raise awareness about the threats they face. She received her Animal Law LLM from our program in 2020. Currently, Lu is an adjunct professor at KIMEP University and the co-founder and managing director of IALA.

Zihao’s Global Ambassador Project

Zihao’s GAP project, “Farmed Animal Welfare in Mainland China,” created educational opportunities and information to share with law students, activists, and scholars in China and around the world. Zihao created extensive academic blogs that addressed farmed animal welfare in mainland China and abroad, as well as animal welfare in general, available at this link.

Zihao also collaborated with another of our Animal Law LLM alums, Yiran Zhang (’20, China), to submit a suggestion for legislative action to the Department of Justice of China. The report was titled “Legislative Project Suggestions on the Anti-Cruelty Law of Animals of the People’s Republic of China.”

Zihao’s project increased education and awareness for animal welfare and encouraged activists, organizations, and the public to take action to protect animals. But this is just the start of Zihao’s work — his hope is that China will eventually pass a general Animal Protection Law as well as anti-cruelty laws for animals.

Before studying animal law, Zihao was a researcher focusing on comparative environmental law, ecological protection law, and environmental law enforcement. During his wildlife conservation research, he discovered that the legal status of wildlife animals is unclear in Chinese law, and that there are no anti-cruelty or animal welfare laws for domestic animals in China. These findings led Zihao to get his LLM in animal law from Lewis & Clark Law. He is currently working on animal welfare protection law and wildlife conservation in Asian countries, in addition to being the co-founder of IALA.

 

The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) was founded in 2008 with a mission to educate the next generation of animal law advocates 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 two advanced legal degrees in animal law (an LLM degree and a Master of Studies degree for non-lawyers, both degrees are offered in person and online) and multiple animal law clinics and experiential learning opportunities. CALS’ Alumni-in Action from more than 20 countries are advancing legal protections and making a difference in the lives of animals around the world.