July 21, 2023

Announcing Our New CALS Ambassadors

Four international alumni have been selected through our Global Ambassador Program to advance animal protection and animal law in their country.

With over 80 advanced degree alumni from over 25 countries, the Center for Animal Law Studies has a unique opportunity to expand the field of animal law across the globe and to improve protections for animals. Through our Global Ambassador Program (GAP), we empower and support our talented alumni to continue their animal law education and advocacy in the U.S. and abroad through their own innovative, individual projects. Since its launch in 2020, CALS has selected two rounds of recipients (for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022), who have successfully advanced animal law and advocacy through their GAP projects.

We are pleased to announce our third round of recipients. Congratulations to: Bianka Atlas (New Zealand), Yvonne Gurira (Zimbabwe), Nancy Makuvise (Zimbabwe), and Diego Plaza (Chile). Each of these CALS Ambassadors has received a grant that will enable them to advance animal law in their home countries by establishing nonprofits, developing animal law courses, and conducting community outreach. They will serve as CALS Ambassadors from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.

This year’s CALS Ambassadors have selected a rich variety of animal law issues to focus upon:

Bianka Atlas (LLM ’20, New Zealand): Animal Law Nonprofit in New Zealand

Bianka plans to establish a dedicated animal law and policy organization in New Zealand. The organization will provide a platform for research and scholarship, education, advocacy, and other activities. Bianka anticipates the organization will promote public awareness of issues impacting animals, increase understanding of the inter-relatedness of human, animal and environmental health and well-being, and advance animal law as a discipline – all with the overarching goal of improving the status of animals through law, policy, and education.

Yvonne Gurira (LLM’ 22, Zimbabwe) - Farmed Animal Protection

Yvonne will raise awareness on the legal protection of farmed animals in Zimbabwe. She will conduct community outreach programs in six different communities educating important stakeholders in the farming industry (farmers, government officials, and extension workers) and high school students about farmed animal protection laws and how to alleviate the suffering of animals. To promote plant-based agriculture, she will distribute beans and seeds for planting to six farmers.

Nancy Makuvise (LLM’ 23, Zimbabwe) - Animal Law Nonprofit in Zimbabwe

Nancy plans on establishing a new nonprofit organization that will focus on community-based outreach campaigns that will raise awareness about animal law and welfare in Zimbabwe. The organization will also focus on the training of officials in local institutions like City Councils, Rural District Councils,  Public Health Departments, and the Department of Veterinary Services. Once these officials are trained, they will then embark on community-based outreach campaigns, leading to the formation of Community Consultative Forums where community members will continuously be trained on animal law and welfare.

Diego Plaza (LLM’ 20, Chile): Animal Law Course in Chile

Diego will be creating a specialized course in Chilean animal law. The objectives of the course are to provide a high-quality education in animal law, explore ethical and political issues surrounding animal rights, utilize technology for widespread access, and establish an innovative teaching model. The course will be offered through the Centro de Estudios de Derecho Animal CEDA Chile, lasting 12 weeks with classes held remotely. The long-term effects of the course include the formation of a community of like-minded individuals, a potential shift in public perception towards animal welfare, widespread dissemination of knowledge through online resources, and the inspiration for similar initiatives in other fields. Overall, the project aims to leave a lasting impact and pave the way for future iterations.

Each CALS Ambassador will be sharing more about their work through our website and social media during their GAP Year. Stay tuned to learn more!

The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) was founded in 2008 with a mission to educate the next generation of animal law advocates and advance animal protection through the law. With vision and bold risk-taking, CALS has since developed into a world-renowned animal law epicenter. CALS’ Alumni-in-Action from over 25 countries are making a difference for animals around the world. CALS is a nonprofit organization funded through donations and grants.