University of Ottawa Law School Launches New Animal Rights Law Course

Years of Campaigning for Course by peta2 Campus Representative Pays Off—and She’ll Be the Co-Teacher

For Immediate Release:
August 8, 2016

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382


For the first time this fall, students at the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) Faculty of Law will have the option to enrol in a course about animal rights called “Animals and the Law.” After discussing animals’ place in Canadian law—such as the recent Québec bill that granted animals the status of sentient beings—students will spend the semester researching a topic related to animal rights law, which they’ll share with their classmates in a paper and accompanying presentation.

The groundbreaking course is the work of Justine Perron, a recent uOttawa law school graduate and campus representative for peta2, PETA’s youth division. Perron spent two years building interest in animal rights on campus by forming the school’s first animal rights group, giving away vegan food, screening animal rights documentaries, and teaching a week-long course on animal rights law for high school students. A uOttawa law school professor had originally decided to add Perron’s course as a section in one of his classes—but after the two worked together on the class’ syllabus, they decided to teach an entire course on animal rights law together this fall.

“The new animal rights–law course at the uOttawa law school is right on-trend with a world that is increasingly viewing animals as someone, not something,” says peta2 Director Ryan Huling. “peta2 looks forward to seeing a new generation of legal minds who are ready and able to advocate for the most vulnerable among us.”

“It’s essential that future lawyers know the legal protections that animals have and realize how much work still needs to be done in animal law,” says Perron. “As I’ve heard many times, when you practice animal law, it will probably be the only time that all your clients are innocent.”

peta2—whose motto reads that “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way”—works with students across North America to organize animal rights activities on their campuses.

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