From April 13 to April 15, 2018, the Society for Non-Human Persons at the National Law School of India University and Humane Society International in collaboration with Mercy For Animals held the second NLSIU Animal Protection Public Interest Litigation Competition.
The first competition took place in January 2017 and was praised by Minister Maneka Gandhi, an avid supporter of animal rights. Created to help students across India develop skills in animal welfare law and constitutional law, the competition included both oral and written rounds.
Each team submitted draft memorandums concerning public interest litigation based on current animal rights or welfare issues in India. The teams then presented their cases before a panel of esteemed judges, including Raj Panjwani, Gauri Maulekhi, and Justice Anjana Mishra.
From Symbiosis Law School in Pune, the students on the winning team were Priyanka Prasanth, Pratush Choudhry, and Shashank Upadhyay. They focused on factory farming, highlighting the horrific conditions of animals in the dairy industry, with particular emphasis on forcible impregnation, the milking process, and the treatment of stray cows.
Competitions like this are incredibly important for law students passionate about animal rights. In an interview last month, Vandhana Bala, MFA’s general counsel and senior vice president of programs, stated:
Although we’re making progress every day, the situation for farmed animals is still very bleak. They need all the advocates they can get. Many people go to law school to help the underrepresented and the defenseless. I believe that farmed animals are the most abused and exploited beings on Earth and every voice speaking out on their behalf makes a difference.
By helping law students gain the knowledge and expertise to fight for better animal protection laws, we can truly make an impact for animals around the world.
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