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S5E6: Animal Farm Activism with Camille Labchuk

Claudia talks to Camille Labchuk about the two recent legal cases at Smithfield and Excelsior which involved animal activism on pig farms in North America. They discuss how biosecurity is used as a means of creating ag-gag laws, the relative absence of biosecurity considerations in the cases, and the legal exceptionalism animal farms enjoy in Canada.

Camille Labchuk

Camille Labchuk is an animal rights lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice—Canada’s only animal law advocacy organization. Under her leadership, Animal Justice fights legal cases in courtrooms across the country, works to pass ground-breaking new laws, and ensures industries are held accountable for illegal animal cruelty. Camille has litigated to advance animals’ legal interests at all levels of court, including before the Supreme Court of Canada. She regularly testifies before legislative committees, and was instrumental in passing Canada’s precedent-setting national ban on whale and dolphin captivity. She has brought constitutional cases seeking to protect the interests of animals and animal advocates; filed false advertising complaints against companies making misleading humane claims; documented Canada’s commercial seal slaughter; and exposed hidden suffering behind the closed doors of farms and zoos through undercover exposés. Camille was previously a founding board member of Mercy For Animals Canada, press secretary to the leader of a federal Canadian political party, and is a former two-time candidate for Parliament. Camille is a frequent lecturer on animal law, co-host of the Paw & Order podcast, and a regular contributor to national publications like the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. She is a Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Connect with Camille on Twitter (@CamilleLabchuk)

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Recorded: 27 October 2022

Featured Readings:

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Animal Highlight: Lily and Lizzy

Watercolor Turkey 2

In this highlight, Amanda focuses on the two pigs who were at the center of the Smithfield case, Lily and Lizzy. She talks about pigs’ incredible social worlds, the conditions Lily and Lizzy were found in, and the lives they now lead at Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary in Colorado.

"First, they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you" - Nicholas Klein, Union Leader Speech 1914

Drawing of Squirrel

Thank you to Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics (A.P.P.L.E) for sponsoring this podcast; the Biosecurities and Urban Governance Research Collective for sponsoring this season; Gordon Clarke (Instagram: @_con_sol_) for the bed music, Jeremy John for the logo, Christiaan Menz for his editing work, and Amanda Bunten-Walberg for the Animal Highlight

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