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Symposium co-organized by Eva Meijer (ASCA) | Scholars and experts from different fields – such as philosophers, lawyers, politicians from different political parties, and animal welfare organizations – will discuss the legal status of animals in the context of the Netherlands and Europe, and develop scenarios for improvement.

Event details of Improving the Legal Status of Animals 
Date 26 September 2022
Time 09:00

The public opinion about nonhuman animals has changed significantly in the last couple of decades. This is due to different factors, in academia and society. For example, new studies in biology and ethology show that many nonhuman animals not only experience pain and joy, but have complex inner lives, language and even culture. Following these insights, and critiques of constructions of the human, there has been a so-called ‘animal turn’ in the humanities. In larger society, we also find a need to rethink what it means to be human and reformulate relations with other animals, in the context of the climate crisis, loss of biodiversity and extinction of species, but also the large-scale exploitation of animals in industrial farming and animal testing. Following these developments, there is currently a significant percentage of European citizens who think that animals should be treated better. Also, recent developments in policy (Farm to Fork, End the Cage) show there is increasing political support both in the Dutch as the European context, for stronger protective measures concerning animals in policy and law. However, there is still a gap between academic insights concerning animal subjectivity, justice, and fair interspecies relations on the one hand, and the treatment of animals in law and political decision-making on the other. This symposium aims to remedy this, by inviting scholars and experts from different fields – such as philosophers, lawyers, politicians from different political parties, and animal welfare organizations – to discuss the legal status of animals in the context of the Netherlands and Europe, and develop scenarios for improvement. 

For more information and registration, please visit: https://www.dierencoalitie.nl/symposium-de-rechtspositie-van-het-dier/ . 

Program:

09.00 uur – Inloop en registratie
09.30 uur – Opening en welkom door Eva Meijer
09.40 uur – Bibi Dumon Tak; Wij zijn drie kalfjes jong: over dieren met een eigen stem
10.00 uur – Leonie Vestering, Tweede Kamerlid Partij voor de Dieren
10.30 uur – Pauze
11.00 uur – Eva Bernet Kempers; De juridische status van het dier
11.30 uur – Erik Haverkort, Tweede Kamerlid VVD
12.00 uur – Lunch
13.00 uur – Mr. J. Vink: Het dier in recht en instituties
13.30 uur – Tjeerd de Groot, Tweede Kamerlid D66
14.00 uur – Breakout sessies;
Een vakbond voor dieren – door Marjolein de Rooij
Een dierenombudsmens – door Kitty de Vries, Caring Vets
Dieren in het privaatrecht – door Leonie Bach Kolling
15.00 uur – Pauze
15.30 uur – Panel en discussie door Jan Staman van de Raad voor Dieraangelegenheden
16.30 uur – Afsluiting en een drankje