A piglet on a free range pig farm stops racing around the field in the sunshine to look at who is there.

2022-2023 Executive Summary

As we conclude the eighth year of the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program and fourth year of the Animal Law & Policy Clinic, we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has supported our work. Our steadfast commitment to analyzing and improving the treatment of animals through the legal system has been possible because of you.

This year was marked by several notable achievements, including our successful efforts to defend, California’s sales ban on animal products produced through certain forms of intensive confinement at the U.S. Supreme Court. Our amicus brief, written in the Clinic, presented the justices with images and descriptions of the intensive confinement of pigs and the egregious suffering it causes. Our brief engaged with the complex arguments of the dormant commerce clause while also giving the justices an unflinching picture of the actual conditions in which these animals are forced to live. Our highlights of the year also included favorable rulings in our ongoing campaign to enhance the psychological welfare of primates utilized in research, and the introduction of a new seminar on farmed animal law, created and taught by our Faculty Director, Professor Kristen Stilt.

In February, the Harvard Law Bulletin featured a 10-page article about our work entitled “All Creatures Great and Small.” This was followed by a full front-page article in the Harvard Crimson, published at Harvard College, which celebrated the achievements of our Animal Law & Policy Clinic. We never miss a chance to talk about the urgent agenda of animal law, and the author of the Harvard Crimson article is now considering pursuing a career in this field.

This report highlights the achievements and progress made in the previous academic year on behalf of animals. We cannot overstate the value of our work at Harvard Law School (HLS). HLS alumni include some of the most influential people in the world, and we have the chance to educate them about the many ways in which human treatment of animals is morally and ethically wrong and bad for both human and nonhuman animals. HLS alums include industry leaders around the world, U.S. Presidents, and 21 U.S. Supreme Court justices. With more than 1,790 current students representing 120 countries and 12,000 living alumni, our Animal Law & Policy Program is uniquely positioned to speak directly to the world leaders of today and tomorrow.

We are grateful to you for allowing us to do what we do best. Every day we strive to achieve impactful litigation with tangible outcomes, to educate and inspire students and individuals around the world, to produce scholarly work that reaches a wide audience and charts new paths, and to engage in policy work to identify crucial problems and provide roadmaps for policymakers.

Our Program and Clinic rely solely on donations from individuals and institutions to carry out this work. We are grateful for the generosity of our donors, without whom our work would not be possible.

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