Animal Law and Policy Update 2023

online conference.

16 October 2023

10.00 – 4.15pm.

Join us and keep up to date with the latest developments in animal law.

Register here

Visit our registration page here to reserve a place.

To maximise access to the meeting, the fee will be waived for delegates resident in low- and middle-income countries eligible for the Research4Life scheme (Group A and B). Click here for a list of eligible countries.



10.00 Welcome and introduction. Mike Radford.

Companion animals: legal update.

Legal update: Scotland

Debbie Rook.

Libby Anderson

10.30 Wildlife: legal update. Rob Espin.
11.00 Snares and traps across the UK. Dr Angus Nurse.
11.15 Animal experimentation: legal update. Blanche Koenig.
11.30 Questions / discussion.
11.45 BREAK
12.00 Farmed animals: legal update. Oliver Hirsch.



Breeding extreme conformations in dogs. Helena Howe.
12.45 Fertility clinics for dogs  Natalie Harney.
13.00 Questions and discussion.
14.15 Packham v Wightman – winning animal welfare legal cases with science. Prof. Andrew Knight.
14.35 National Case law update. Paula Sparks.
14.50 International rights-based approaches. Paula Sparks.
15.10 USA. Prop 12 and (EATS) Bill Randi Milgram.
15.30 Brazil: export of live animals caselaw. Peter Stevenson.
16.00 Questions / discussion.
16.15 CLOSE


Meet the speakers

Mike Radford OBE.

Mike Radford is a Reader in Law at the University of Aberdeen. He has taught and lectured on animal law widely, in addition to working extensively on the development of animal welfare law and policy with politicians, officials, veterinarians, NGOs, and other interested parties. Mike is presently a trustee of Dogs Trust, the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, and OneKind; a member of the All Party Group on Animal Welfare; and a visiting lecturer at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Vet Schools. He was a founder member of both A-law and the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association. Mike was appointed OBE in 2008 for services to animal welfare law.

Paula Sparks.

Paula is Chairperson of the UK Centre for Animal Law (A-law). She was previous in practice as a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. Paula has an interest in animal law and regularly lectures and writes on topics around animal law and policy; she was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Winchester teaching animal law and policy between 2017-2023. She is a contributing editor to the Routledge Handbook of Animal Welfare (2023). 

Debbie Rook.

Debbie obtained an LLB (Hons) First class from Exeter University and an LLM (by research) from Bristol University. She undertook her training contract with Freshfields (now Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP) at their offices in Fleet Street, London. She qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and worked in their commercial property department. In 1997 She joined Northumbria Law School as a Senior Lecturer in law specialising in property law and she continues to teach land law on the undergraduate programmes. In 2004 she created a new module in Animal Law on the MLaw Exempting and LLB(Hons) programmes and since then has been involved in research, training and conferences in the emerging area of animal protection law. In 2002 she became a Principal Lecturer and is now the Director of Student Experience and Support for the Faculty of Business and Law.

Randi Milgram.

Randi is a US-qualified lawyer and is in the process of requalifying in the UK. She spent several years practicing in intellectual property and public law in America. Her recent practice has focused on various aspects of English companion animal law, primarily comparative analyses of UK-USA breed specific legislation, agricultural protection laws, and puppy mills. A main interest is in connecting modern animal legal advocacy with intersectional socio-political awareness and support. Randi is a trustee of The Animal Advocacy Project.

Rob Espin.

Rob is the chair of A-law’s Wildlife Special Interest Group. Rob trained at a magic circle firm and practised restructuring and insolvency law upon qualification, later moving in-house into a commercial team. He became involved with A-law whilst a student at university studying international wildlife law. Outside of A-law and work, Rob acts pro bono as a consultant for the Lifescape Project and advises on matters of rewilding and wildlife welfare.

Dr Angus Nurse.

Dr Angus Nurse is Professor of Law and Environmental Justice at Anglia Ruskin University. He was previously Head of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Nottingham Trent University and prior to that was Associate Professor, Environmental Justice at Middlesex University School of Law. Angus has research interests in green criminology, criminality, critical criminal justice, environmental law, animal rights and human rights law. He is a member of the Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) and has previously worked in the environmental NGO field and as an Investigator for the Local Government Ombudsman. His books include Policing Wildlife (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Animal Harm: Perspectives on why People Harm and Kill Animals (Ashgate, 2013). Miscarriages of Justice: Causes, consequences and remedies (Policy Press, 2018) co-authored with Sam Poyser and Rebecca Milne, The Citizen and the State (Emerald, 2020) and Wildlife Criminology (Bristol University Press, 2020) co-authored with Tanya Wyatt.

Blanche Koenig.

Blanche is a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & New York) with a background working in-house for various technology companies. Her experience has encompassed a range of topics including commercial contracts, marketing/advertising, privacy, ecommerce & consumer law, company secretarial, competition and disputes and she particularly enjoys supporting corporate ESG programs. Blanche has a long-standing interest in animal protection and volunteers with A-Law in the animal experimentation working group. 

Oliver Hirsch.

Oliver Hirsch is a barrister at 3 Paper Buildings, specialising in criminal, regulatory and personal injury law. He is looking to build his practice in animal welfare law and welcomes instructions in this area. Prior to commencing practice at the Bar, Oliver achieved a First in History at the University of Oxford, before completing the GDL and BPTC. He then worked for a national social care provider before starting pupillage. Oliver also received a Princess Royal Scholarship from Inner Temple.

Dr Helena Howe.

Dr Helena Howe is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex. Her research lies at the intersection of Environmental Law, Animal Law and Agricultural Law. Her current work focuses on breeding and ownership of dogs with extreme conformations, farmed animal welfare and the development of Earth law.

Natalie Harney.

Natalie Harney is part of the campaigns team at Naturewatch Foundation, where she manages the charity’s companion animal breeding and animal experiments campaigns. A significant focus of her work over the past eighteen months has been the rapid growth in canine fertility clinics across the UK. Natalie studied English at university, followed by the GDL. She has a long-standing interest in animal protection law, which she pursues outside of work in a voluntary capacity. She is a Trustee and volunteer for A-LAW.

Professor Andrew Knight BSc (Vet Biol), BVMS, CertAW, MANZCVS, DipECAWBM (AWSEL), DACAW, PhD, FRCVS, PFHEA

Veterinary Professor Andrew Knight founded the Centre for Animal Welfare at England’s University of Winchester in 2015. He’s also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment and Science at Griffith University, Queensland. Additionally, he is a European, British and American Veterinary Specialist in Animal Welfare; a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and a Principal Fellow of Advance HE. He has a large number of academic and popular publications, several websites, and an extensive series of social media videos, on animal welfare issues. His books include The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments (2011), and (as Editor) the Routledge Handbook of Animal Welfare (2023) available fully open access at

Peter Stevenson OBE.

Peter Stevenson is Chief Policy Advisor at Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). Peter studied economics and law at Trinity College Cambridge and is a qualified lawyer. In 2004 Peter was the joint recipient of the RSPCA Lord Erskine Award in recognition of a ‘very important contribution in the field of animal welfare’. Peter is lead author of the study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation reviewing animal welfare legislation in the beef, pork and poultry industries. He has written well-received reports on the economics of livestock production and on the detrimental impact of industrial farming on the resources on which our future ability to feed ourselves depends.

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