The CASJ is a new animal protection think tank founded by academics and animal advocates. It will be launched at an inaugural ‘Animals and Public Policy’ seminar at the London School of Economics on 30 June.
The founding of the CASJ heralds a new chapter in the history of our relationship with other animals. Issues such as badger culling, wild animals in circuses and the new EU Directive on animal experimentation demonstrate the increasing political importance of animal protection. The CASJ will carry out high-level research to inform policy-making and enhance the ethical and political status of animals in the UK and beyond.
The CASJ believes that how we treat other sentient animals matters morally because, like us, they are individuals who can experience joy and suffering and have an interest in surviving and pursuing their own vital interests. As sentient beings whose lives are affected profoundly by the action and inaction of individuals, businesses and states, animals are a proper concern of social justice.
The CASJ sees huge potential for progress in animal protection. Public attitudes towards animals are generally more compassionate and enlightened than those expressed in actual behaviour, industry practices and public policy, which currently cause widespread and extensive harm to animals. The CASJ will harness growing academic interest in animal ethics and politics, and will produce the knowledge and advocacy that is essential to both persuade society to respect animals and translate ethical aspirations into effective animal protection.
Dr Dan Lyons, CASJ CEO, comments:
‘High-quality, applied research is essential to protecting and improving the most important factors in human flourishing – our health, our economy, our environment and our quality of life. How humans affect the wellbeing of billions of other animals requires – and deserves – the same rigorous analysis.
Britain is said to be a nation of animal lovers, but when it comes to animal protection, there is a huge democratic deficit in the UK. Policy processes that affect the welfare of hundreds of millions of animals are almost always dominated by the industries that make them suffer, such as intensive agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry. The most vital interests of animals – and the views of the public – tend to be ignored by Government. There is a growing tension between the compelling case for animal protection and the negligence of our political system, creating the conditions for a quiet revolution. The CASJ’s research agenda will focus on how we can evolve public policy so that it can start to give animal protection the level of influence demanded by mainstream social values and ethical analysis.’
For further information, including a copy of the CASJ prospectus and details of the ‘Animals and Public Policy’ Seminar on 30 June, please contact Dr Dan Lyons via our contact form or call 0114 2831155/07799 117695
Notes for Editors
- Dan Lyons is a founder and the first CEO of the CASJ, having been a leading UK animal protection lobbyist with Sheffield-based organisation Uncaged since shortly after graduating from the city’s university in 1993. Between 2000 and 2003 he successfully fought a historic legal battle against Novartis Pharma AG to win the right, on public interest grounds, to publish leaked documents describing severe pig-to-primate organ transplant experiments which breached regulations. The documents formed the core of a critical case study of UK animal experimentation policy for his PhD, which was awarded the Political Studies Association prize for the best thesis on Government and Public Administration for 2007. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Politics.
- Other founders of the CASJ include Professor Robert Garner (Department of Politics, University of Leicester) and Dr Alasdair Cochrane (Centre for Study of Human Rights, LSE), both leading scholars in animals, ethics and politics.
- The creation of the CASJ has received strong support from the Political Studies Association.
Key Projects & Activities
The CASJ’s priority programmes will involve research and advocacy in three crucial areas:
1. Animals’ legal/political status
2. Institutional representation for animals
3. Policy Strategies for Animal Protection
See Projects for further details.