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Animal Property Rights

Wednesday, February 06, 2019,

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  • Location: Vanderbilt Law School • 131 21st Ave South • Nashville, TN 37203
  • Room: Hyatt Room

Please join the Energy and Environmental Law Society and the Energy, Environment and Land Use Program for an engaging lecture by Professor Karen Bradshaw of Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. 

The legal movement within animal rights largely focuses on protecting captive species and large mammals like whales, apes, and lions. These important efforts focus on the animals most visible to humans. Yet, unsustainable land development and fishing practices are harming many species of wildlife and sea creatures, which we do not observe. Fish and wildlife populations have recently suffered staggering losses, and they stand to lose far more. In this talk, Professor Bradshaw explores a new legal approach to protect these currently overlooked creatures. She suggests extending property rights to animals, which would allow them to own land and water interests. Humans would manage corporations or trusts at an ecosystem level with a fiduciary benefit to the animal landowners—a structure that fits within existing legal institutions. Although admittedly radical, an animal property rights regime would create tremendous gains for imperiled species with relatively few costs to humans.

Visitors should park in the Terrace Place Garage, spaces 41-92, at the corner of 21st Ave. South and Terrace Place, or the Wesley Place Garage, spaces 52-170, at the corner of 21st Ave. South and Scarritt Place.  Parking costs range from $4.00 to $12.00 at these garages.  Both are within walking distance of the law school.