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Animal Law

Learn about legal issues that affect animal welfare, alumni fighting for animal protection, and the latest news from Vermont Law & Graduate School's growing animal law program. 




Last weekend’s graduation…



The Animal Law and Policy Institute was honored to co-host the Centre for Animal Rights Law's Lecturers' Workshop at the VLGS…

Mother pig in a gestation crate

In a momentous decision, the United States Supreme Court has upheld the Ninth Circuit's dismissal of…

Background VLGS with the River

Animal law and policy has had a presence at Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS)—and in its renowned Summer Session—for decades. Over the years, animal law and…

On March 18th, two Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS) teams competed in the revived National Animal Law…

The New York State Bar Association Committee on Animals and the Law published the latest Laws and Paws Newsletter announcing their student writing competition winners.

Congratulations to VLGS students Vanessa Beane and Bailey Soderberg for their winning entries!

Second place – Vanessa Beane, student at Vermont Law School. Beane received $250 for her winning paper entitled “The Big Cat Public Safety Act: Why the Legacy Clause Needs to be…

Two roosters at VINE Sanctuary

Meeting animals who have been rescued from farms, confinement, and fighting can be one of the most powerful experiences for students learning to effectively advocate for animals. Looking into these animals’ eyes, learning their personalities, and seeing them thrive in a safe space inspires advocates to use the legal system to help save lives.  

VINE Sanctuary…

Vermont Law and Graduate School Square Logo

The Animal Law and Policy Institute at Vermont Law and Graduate School is excited to announce the Animal Law pathway within the Online Hybrid J.D…

Female student with brown hair and green sweater reading a text book

Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic Assists Groups in Urging the US EPA to Meaningfully Regulate CAFOs under the Clean Air Act by Eliminating its Fugitive Emissions Exemption

VLGS MAPP Master of Animal Protection Policy image

This January (2023) Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the Animal Law and Policy Institute Prof. Delci Winders discussed our new Master of Animal Protection and Policy (MAPP) degree. MAPP students learn to navigate law and policy landscapes and effect change for animals. The curriculum, developed by faculty from the Animal Law…

Animal law Podcast 91

The Animal Law and Policy Institute at Vermont Law and Graduate School is proud to partner with the Cambridge Center for Animal Rights Law to help host their Lecturers' Workshop on May 8-12, 2023. 

Learn more with Mariann Sullivan on this week's episode of the Animal Law Podcast: So You Want to Teach Animal Rights Law.

Professor Winders weighs in on Neuralink's animal testing, the lack of enforcement under the Animal Welfare Act, and "animal experiment exceptionalism."  

She was quoted in Reuters exclusive, "Musk’s Neuralink faces federal probe, employee backlash over animal tests," which broke last week, and Vox's follow-up, "Neuralink shows what happens…


The Animal Law and Policy Institute has partnered with the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law to host a Lecturers' Workshop for those interested in teaching an animal rights law course at an undergraduate, graduate, or law school. Applications are due December 23, 2022 for the workshop that will take place May 8-12, 2023 in Burlington, Vermont. You may visit their website to learn more!



In November of 2022, VLGS student Daria Bednarczyk (pictured far right) participated in the Animal Legal Defense Fund's Student Convention presenting her paper, "Behind Closed Doors…

Student sitting at desk with laptop, smiling

Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic (“FAAC”) assisted community members and public interest groups in submitting a public comment against the potential ex

Watch Joaquin Phoenix's video thanking Professor Winders, and encouraging VLGS animal law and policy students, in VegNews!

Two students reviewing a document

New legislation regulating industrial animal agriculture will be before the Senate, and Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic (“FAAC”) assisted in researching and drafting some of the legislative language in the bill. Today, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker…


Please consider applying for Vermont Law and Graduate School's …


Watch Online: 

Slaughterhouse Workers, Animals, and the Environment with Delcianna Winders & Elan Abrell - Yale Law School



The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on industrial slaughterhouses in the United States and their impacts on the vulnerable beings—both human and animal—they exploit. But the severity of these impacts is the result of a long…

"Does Animal Agriculture Cause Climate Change and Pandemics?"

By Jennifer Mishler


Delcianna Winders, a professor and Director of the Animal Law and Policy Institute at Vermont Law School, writes, “For decades, industrial animal agriculture has benefited from a hands-off approach in nearly every area of the law, at every level of government.”

Animal activists and animal advocacy organizations continue to fight to establish legal rights for farmed and other…

This past school year was a busy one for all things animal law and policy at Vermont Law and Graduate School, and it all started with the launch of a Concentration in Animal Law for JD students. So it’s only fitting that, as we head into a new…

Brett Stokes and Jill martin Diaz
VLS Animal Law Media Fellow Melanie Kaplan with rescued beagle Hammy. Credit: James Haworth

Thanks to a generous gift from the American Society for the Prevention for Cruelty to Animals (…

Marina Bolotnikova is an independent journalist who has written for Vox, The Guardian, The Intercept, The New York Times, and many other publications.
Visitors to the Bronx Zoo look at Happy, a lone Asian elephant in a small, bare enclosure, from an open-air vehicle
Monica Miller JD'12 will appear in court this week to argue that Happy The Elephant should have a fundamental right to liberty and be transferred to a sanctuary.
As legal counsel for Animal Outlook, Will Lowrey JD'17 is standing up for farmed animal welfare in the courtroom and mentoring future animal advocates. One of those is 3L Ashely Monti, who reflects on his work and his recent victory in court.
Photograph of a Bailey Soderberg, brown hair and a brown dress.
Vermont Law School 2L will work on projects aiming to improve legal protections for farmed animals.
A pig in a gestation crate at the Smithfield Foods/Murphy Brown pig breeding facility, Waverly, Virginia, United States
Pork producers have been spuriously asserting that a California law allowing farmed animals room to move their limbs will spell the end of bacon. This blog presents survey data showing that grocery stores, restaurants, foodservice companies, and pork producers are in fact prepared to comply with the law when it goes into effect on January 1.
Delcianna Winders headshot
September 23, 2021
Delcianna ("Delci") Winders, a renowned animal law expert and advocate, joined the Vermont Law School faculty this fall as a visiting associate professor of law and director of the new program. We caught up with VLS's newest environmental law faculty member to learn more about animal law and how students can get involved.
Three Can't-Miss Environmental Law Summer Courses
May 11, 2021
From this summer’s selection of 23 environmental law courses, we asked Associate Dean and Professor Jenny Rushlow to weigh in on the three she’s most excited about.
August 13, 2016
VLS Alum Paige Tomaselli's '04 work for the Center for Food Safety has helped protect animals, the environment and public health, all while fighting "factory farms."​​​​