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International Conference at Oxford: Call for Papers

8th May 2007

Call for Papers

International Conference on the Relationship between Animal Abuse and Human Violence

One Day International Conference, Keble College, Oxford,
18 September, 2007

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The Conference will explore these questions: (1) What is the empirical evidence of a link between animal abuse and violence to humans or anti-social behaviour? (2) How should we interpret the evidence? (3) What are the ethical implications? (4) What are the implications for social and legal policy?

Papers are invited from academics world-wide.

Contributions from a range of disciplines, including ethics, philosophy, theology, psychiatry, psychology, law, medicine, criminology, social sciences, and social policy are welcome.

Abstracts (no more than 300 words) should be submitted to Professor Andrew Linzey, Director, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics via email: to arrive by 1 May 2007.

All selected papers will be published in book form.

The Conference is being arranged by the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics ( and sponsored – and organised on behalf of the Centre – by the League Against Cruel Sports (


1. Aim: During the last 30 years, evidence has been accumulating of a link between animal abuse and violence to humans or anti-social behaviour. The aim of the conference is to explore this link, what meaning it might have, its ethical significance, and what implications, if any, that should follow for the making of social and legal policy. This will be the first academic conference devoted to this subject in the United Kingdom.

2. Attendance: We expect the Conference to appeal to academics, representing a range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) ethics, philosophy, theology, psychiatry, law, psychology, criminology, medicine, social sciences, and social policy. We also expect the conference to appeal to a wide range professionals concerned with

the care of children;
spousal and elderly abuse;
cruelty prevention and inspection;
social work;
penal policy;
veterinary services;
human and animal shelters;
humane education;
wildlife protection;
law enforcement, and
the implementation of legal and social policy.

We, therefore, particularly welcome attendance from professionals, including anti-cruelty inspectors, teachers, medical personnel, veterinarians, social workers, health care professionals, and law enforcement officials.

3. Call for papers: Academics world-wide are invited to submit short abstracts of possible papers for consideration. Submission deadline is 1 May, 2007. From the abstracts submitted, the best will be selected for presentation at the conference. Each presentation will be scheduled for 15 minutes.

4. Presentation and publication: Academics whose abstracts are selected for presentation are also asked to supply a full academic paper (3-5,000 words) by 1 September, 2007. These papers will be published subsequently in a book volume.

5. Speakers’ costs: the Conference will cover the cost of accommodation for selected speakers for one or two nights in Oxford, including breakfast, plus lunch and dinner on the 18th September. Some small bursaries may be available on a case by case basis to cover the travel costs of speakers travelling from abroad.

6. Arranged by: the conference is being arranged by the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, founded in 2006 to enhance the ethical status of animals through academic research, teaching and publication. At the heart of the Centre’s work is an international fellowship of academics drawn from the sciences and the humanities. The Centre is named after the distinguished Spanish philosopher José Ferrater Mora, known for his pioneering opposition to bullfighting. One of Centre’s key research areas is the link between animal abuse and human violence. The conference is being arranged by the Centre as part of its commitment to research and publication in this field. The aim of the Centre is to put the issue of humankind’s interactions with animals on the intellectual agenda.

7. Sponsored and organised by: the Conference is being sponsored – and organised on behalf of the Centre by – the League Against Cruel Sports, the premier society in the United Kingdom opposed to cruelty inflicted on animals for recreational purposes. The League’s aim in sponsoring the Conference is to enable people to better understand the nature of animal abuse, the motivation that leads to cruel acts, and the implications for human as well as animal welfare. The League believes that this understanding is essential to help inform social and legal policy.

Andrew Linzey
1 February 2007, rev 5 February 2007.