This panel will begin with a discussion of the relationship between captive animals and their counterparts in the wild, including the conservation implications, and the health, welfare, and behavioral challenges of maintaining wildlife in captivity. Next, it will detail the shortcomings of existing laws and associated regulatory efforts intended to protect these animals. Finally, the panel will discuss innovative approaches to addressing these shortcomings, including novel litigation and efforts to inspire those who maintain captive wildlife to go beyond minimum legal requirements.
- Heather Rally, Supervising Veterinarian of Captive Animal Law Enforcement, PETA Foundation
Dr. Heather Rally is the Supervising Veterinarian of Captive Animal Law Enforcement at the PETA Foundation. Dr. Rally graduated with Honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, where she pursued specific training in wildlife medicine and forensic pathology. Given her many years of background in marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, Rally has been active in a number of international initiatives to establish the world’s first seaside sanctuaries for whales and dolphins retired from entertainment, including as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Whale Sanctuary Project. Rally has conducted wildlife trafficking and animal welfare investigations on multiple continents and this work was highlighted in the award-winning documentary film, Racing Extinction. In her capacity with the PETA Foundation, Dr. Rally oversees a team of wildlife specialists who review and advise on specific cases of abuse and neglect involving captive wildlife at roadside zoos, circuses, and similar traveling exhibits.
Delcianna Winders, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Captive Animal Law Enforcement, PETA Foundation; Visiting Scholar, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace UniversityDelcianna Winders is vice president and deputy general counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement for the PETA Foundation and a Haub Environmental Visiting Scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. Delci’s legal advocacy pushes authorities to create and enforce laws designed to help captive animals who are suffering in roadside zoos or beaten into performing in circuses, and her scholarship focuses on the intersection of administrative and animal law. She recently completed a two-year stint as Harvard’s first-ever Animal Law & Policy academic fellow, has published in media outlets and law reviews across the country, and was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine as one of “Six Women Who Dare.”
Jim Gesualdi, President, EXCELLENCE BEYOND COMPLIANCE, LTDAuthor of EXCELLENCE BEYOND COMPLIANCE: Enhancing Animal Welfare Through the Constructive Use of the Animal Welfare Act, Mr. Gesualdi has served as a Special Professor of Law, Hofstra University School of Law, where he has taught Animal Law. He was also a founding member and chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Animals and the Law, as well as the founding co-chair of the Suffolk County Bar Association Animal Law Committee. Mr. Gesauldi serves as a Vice-Chair for the American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Animal Law Committee.
Mr. Gesauldi graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. degree from St. Lawrence University, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in Government. He earned a M.A. in Political Science (Public Affairs) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and received his J.D. degree from the Hofstra University School of Law from which he graduated with distinction and served as a Notes and Comments Editor for the Hofstra Law Review.
- Don Baur, Partner, Perkins Coie (moderator)
Don Baur is a Partner in the Environment, Energy and Resources practice of the Perkins Coie law firm in Washington D.C., having previously served as General Counsel of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission and an attorney for the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Solicitor’s Office of the Department of the Interior. He practices primarily in the natural resources and Indian law areas, with an emphasis on marine ecosystem protection, onshore and offshore renewable energy, water law, wildlife, animal welfare, conservation system lands, wetlands, historic preservation, and Indian lands and natural resources.Don has been actively involved in ocean conservation, endangered species, marine mammal and marine wildlife protection, and animal welfare work throughout his career, including matters involving right whales, harbor porpoise, belugas, polar bears, bottlenose dolphins, manatees, Hawaiian monk seals, sperm whales, northern and southern sea otters, orcas, humpback whales, Dall’s porpoise, North Pacific fur seals and several non-marine mammal ocean wildlife species. Don is actively involved in captive cetacean welfare issues.He served as Keiko’s lawyer, in the successful rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction to the wild of the star whale from the movie Free Willy, and he is now pursuing legal action seeking full public disclosure by Sea World of the health records related to the captive life and death of Tilikum, the whale featured in the movie Blackfish, and other cetaceans. He represented renowned conservationists and public figures in the successful lawsuit opposing the capture of beluga whales from the wild in Russia for the Georgia Aquarium; and he serves as counsel for The Whale Sanctuary Project to build seaside sanctuaries for the transfer of whales currently held in captivity.On other matters, he is representing a coalition spearheaded by the Governors of California and Oregon to remove the dams on the Klamath River that block passage for endangered salmon and serving as a U.S. legal expert to implement Obama Administration agreements with Cuba and Mexico to establish cooperative efforts on environmental protection and improve general diplomatic relations between the two countries. His work on wildlife and conservation issues has been recognized through awards from the Pegasus Foundation, the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, and the Center for Marine Conservation.Don has authored over 40 law review articles and is the lead editor and author of American Bar Association treatises on the Endangered Species Act and Ocean Law and Policy; he has taught Ocean Law at the Vermont Law School for the last 20 years; and he serves on the Boards of Trustees for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Shenandoah National Park Trust. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and Trinity College.