A Word from Co-organisers

Conceived and organized by the Foundation for Animal Law, Ethics and Sciences (LFDA) in partnership with the International Research Group in Animal Law (GRIDA) of the University of Quebec at Montréal (UQAM), this international, multidisciplinary event is designed to inform a broad audience, for the first time ever, of the state of scientific knowledge on animal sensitivity and the extent of its legal transmission throughout the world.

The symposium thus hopes to contribute to stimulating, on a rational and unquestionable basis, professionals working or using animals to undertake an ethical reformulation and revision of their attitudes, motivated by the desire not to inflict pain on animals when it is reasonably avoidable, or reducing pain when it is unavoidable. Another goal of the symposium is to participate in the development of laws and regulations regarding the protection of animals from all forms of suffering at the hands of humans.

In effect, the contemporary development of laws for the protection of animals is now closely related to an ethic based on respect for the specific sensitivity of animals, which are able to feel pain and emotions, with the absence of negative emotions being a major component of their welfare. This ethics is based on recent developments in the fields of neurobiology and ethology. What are the contemporary scientific assumptions and certainties concerning animal sensitivity within each zoological group? How is this knowledge taken into account within the North American, South American, Australian and European judicial systems for the protection of animals? These are the two major questions that this symposium should answer with precision.

During this exceptional two-day symposium, 26 experts in animal life sciences, in animal ethics and animal law (14 biologists, ethologists, neurobiologists and veterinarians; 2 philosophers; and 10 legal experts) from America, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Great Britain, Spain and Switzerland will engage in dialogue with a wide audience.

These experts, who will communicate in French and in English, have, for this symposium, agreed to adapt their vocabulary for a wide audience. The discussions will be simultaneously translated into English and French, enabling the audience to follow the debates in either language.

For the first time ever, the discussions will be simultaneously addressed to scientists (physiologists, neurobiologists, ethologists, zoologists, veterinarians); philosophers and jurists, whether teachers, researchers, practitioners or students; and representatives of animal-related professions (livestock breeders, fishermen, keepers of zoological parks and aquariums or pet store owners); as well as representatives of animal protection NGOs, journalists specializing in science and animal life, and parliamentarians and government officials who are concerned about animal welfare.

Access to the symposium is exclusively reserved for these groups of professionals. The reservation is free of charge, but pre-registration is necessary. Number of seats limited to 200.


Thierry AUFFRET VAN DER KEMP - Director of the Foundation LFDA, general coordinator of the symposium

 Martine LACHANCE - Professor of Law and director of the GRIDA


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