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Job Opportunity: Staff Lawyer at Animal Justice

Animal Justice January 21, 2019

Animal Justice is a national animal law advocacy organization, leading the legal fight for animals in Canada. Our lawyers work to pass strong new animal protection legislation at all levels of government, ensure laws already on the books are vigorously enforced, and fight for animals in courtrooms across the country.

We seek an enthusiastic lawyer to join our team. The ideal candidate will be passionate about enhancing legal protections for animals, and will be responsible for assisting in the creation and implementation of Animal Justice’s legal campaigns and strategies related to all areas of animal use. The staff lawyer will be comfortable advocating for animals inside courtrooms and legislatures, as well in the court of public opinion.

Animal Justice is a small organization but is expanding quickly, and we are looking for someone who can grow with us.

Position type: Six-month full-time contract position with the possibility of becoming a full-time, permanent position

Reports to: Executive Director

Location: Toronto strongly preferred, other locations may be possible

Salary: Depends on relevant experience

Position responsibilities: 

  • Liaise with other Animal Justice staff, external counsel, and experts to develop legal campaigns and strategies, including litigation and legislative campaigns
  • Research and develop legal theories and strategies for litigation
  • Work closely with the executive director, external counsel, and others to draft, edit, and file lawsuits and interventions in court cases on behalf of Animal Justice
  • Work with the executive director and the board to develop and implement a comprehensive and integrated legislative and political strategy
  • Review and analyze legislation
  • Meet with legislators, government officials, and other policymakers to advance animal protection legislation and policies
  • Write reports, briefing memos, and other legal analyses on animal law topics
  • Research, prepare, and file law enforcement complaints with relevant authorities, including assisting members of the public in filing complaints
  • Prepare, file, and oversee freedom of information requests
  • Prepare and deliver presentations at law schools, conferences, community events, and Animal Justice events
  • Assist with the oversight and management of Animal Justice student clubs at Canadian law schools
  • Supervise volunteers, including lawyers and law students
  • Consult with communication staff in the creation of written content for Animal Justice’s website, social media platforms, and email communications to supporters
  • Assist other team members with special projects as required, including fundraisers, community events, and conferences
  • Maintain strong relationships with Animal Justice supporters and colleagues at other organizations
  • Travel as required to attend meetings, conferences, and other events
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor

Position requirements:

  • A law degree, and called to the bar in a Canadian province or territory
  • Minimum two years experience practicing law
  • Thorough knowledge of animal rights issues, Animal Justice campaigns, social change strategies, and legal approaches to animal advocacy
  • An understanding of Canadian politics
  • Excellent written and oral advocacy and communication skills
  • Strong organizational and project management skills, self-motivation, and the ability to multitask, work independently, and meet quick deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and supporters
  • Ability to communicate in French is an asset
  • Proficiency with computer software, including Microsoft Office, Google products, and Dropbox
  • Personal commitment to Animal Justice’s philosophy and mission
  • Ability to travel regularly

Hiring process: 

Animal Justice offers a friendly and positive work environment, and is an equal opportunity employer.

Applications should include a resume and cover letter in PDF format explaining why the position interests you and how your experience and skills make you an ideal candidate, as well as a legal writing sample. Applicants in their first five years of legal practice should include law school transcripts.

Email your application to info@animaljustice.ca by February 8, 2019 with “Job 102 – Staff Lawyer” as the subject line.

Only candidates selected for consideration will be contacted. Interviews will be conducted in Toronto during the week of February 19, 2019.

Animal Justice

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Authorities Investigate Footage of Pigs Crammed in Sweltering Manitoba Transport Truck

Animal Justice August 3, 2018

BRANDON, MB—The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating potential animal protection law violations after viewing footage showing pigs crammed into a transport truck, pushed together and climbing on top of each other, on a sweltering day in July. The footage was captured outside the Maple Leaf Foods pig slaughterhouse in Brandon, Manitoba by members of Manitoba Animal Save, who also recorded the temperature inside the truck at nearly 40 degrees Celsius.

“It was heartbreaking to see the animals crammed in next to each other in such unbearable heat,” said Cheryl Sobie, an organizer with Manitoba Animal Save. “Some animals were panting and foaming at the mouth, which we know means they’re heat-stressed. Others seemed to have given up. If this were a truck full of dogs, people would rightfully be outraged. There’s no reason not to extend the same consideration to pigs, who are equally sentient. Sadly, our group regularly documents farmed animals in similar conditions, leading us to believe it’s common across the country.”

“Federal law prohibits crowding animals in transport, and guidelines indicate that animals must be given even more space on hot days,” said Anna Pippus, an animal rights lawyer for the animal law non-profit Animal Justice. “However, animal protection laws in Canada are weak, vague, and under-enforced. This is a case in point. Business-as-usual in Canada’s animal farming system is in desperate need of an overhaul. Government must hold transporters accountable for routinely putting profit and convenience ahead of the basic needs of the vulnerable animals in their care.”

Pigs don’t have sweat glands and have no way to cool themselves in sweltering weather aboard unventilated metal trucks. Transport trucks aren’t equipped with fans or water sprinklers, but pigs are transported every day of the year regardless of weather.

Canada’s animal transport laws haven’t been updated in four decades and have been criticized by experts as being the worst in the western world. Pigs can be trucked for up to 36 hours without a break for rest, food or water. Government data show that in 2017, over 14,000 pigs arrived at slaughterhouses dead, having died en route.

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The footage can be seen here.

For more information, contact:

Cheryl Sobie
manitobaanimalsave@gmail.com

Anna Pippus
Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy
apippus@animaljustice.ca

 

 

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Animal Justice

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Authorities Refuse to Crack Down on Misleading Milk Ads

Animal Justice March 21, 2018

In November 2016, Animal Justice filed complaints with authorities over a misleading ad campaign that suggested that consuming of dairy is essential for human health. The ads, sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, were crafted to appear as public health announcements by several health organizations, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Osteoperosis Canada, and Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. Disturbingly, the ads told Canadians to consume dairy to prevent osteoporosis, colorectal cancer, and hypertension.

According to Dietitians of Canada, it is not necessary to consume fluid cow’s milk, yogurt, or cheese to avoid colorectal cancer, osteoporosis, or heart disease. On the contrary, Dietitians of Canada states that a vegan diet, without dairy, “has many health benefits including lower rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.”

Dr. Walter Willet, Chair of Harvard’s Department of Nutrition and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, observes that high dairy intake is not beneficial and may even be harmful. According to Dr. Willet, high dairy consumption is associated with increased risk of prostate and ovarian cancer.

Animal Justice filed false advertising complaints with the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)—which are responsible for protecting consumers from fake marketing. Food ads must be truthful so consumers can avoid food fraud and make informed choices.

Last year, the Competition Bureau—the federal consumer protection agency—opened an inquiry into the false ads. However, Animal Justice just received bad news—the Commissioner of Competition dropped the inquiry.

Laws protecting farmed animals in Canada are weak or often don’t exist in the first place. Even when laws offer some protections to animals, they are badly under-enforced. That’s why Animal Justice lawyers get creative to protect animals. We use false advertising laws to crack down on the meat, dairy, and egg industries. We’re dismayed that our legal complaints have not resulted in justice.

But we’re not ready to give up. Next, we’ll file requests under freedom of information legislation to find out why authorities fail to act. As long as farmed animals are confined in appalling conditions and food companies get away with lying about their products, we will use whatever legal tools are available to fight for animals.

 

Join the Animal Justice mailing list

Yes, I want to stay in touch! 

Animal Justice

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