January 2010Volume 1Number 1PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)

Comments from the Chair

The new Animal Law Section got underway this bar season with its first formal meeting on October 3, 2009 in Springfield. This new section already has 14 council members and more than 150 total members. We’re very pleased with the growth we’ve experienced, and with the interest that has been generated throughout the Bar Association for our fledgling endeavor.


After putting together a successful and well-received CLE program last season in Chicago and at Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton, the Section currently is looking ahead to its next CLE program. We are again planning a June seminar. Topics for the upcoming seminar are still “TBA,” but last June’s conferences included presentations on estate planning and pet trusts; divorce and “pet custody” issues; livestock liability, an update on farming and wildlife regulations, issues in prosecuting animal cruelty cases, and more.

The section also is preparing to draft and sponsor its first legislative proposal, and possible legislative projects include various reforms to state or local animal control laws; strengthening a court’s ability to appropriately deal with pets in divorce; and a truth-in-sheltering measure that would require shelters to provide greater disclosure of their euthanasia practices. We also have been closely following proposed legislation throughout the year on a variety of topics, including transportation of livestock and a proposed repeal of the current Illinois ban on horse slaughter.

If you would like to receive upcoming newsletters and stay current in this diverse area of the law, we invite you to join our section! Membership costs $20 per year, and entitles you to $10 off our June CLE. What better way to stay on the cutting-edge of one of the newest areas of law and earn your CLE credits, too?

No matter what your practice area, human interests often intersect with animal interests. The ISBA’s Animal Law Section offers you both an opportunity to stay on top of this constantly evolving area, as well as a valuable link to resources you may need when that intersection of interests crosses your desk. Welcome, and we look forward to your thoughts and input throughout the upcoming year. ■




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