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First South African Symposium on Animal Ethics

17th June 2010

Hunterstoun Centre after snowfall

Associate Fellow, Dr Les Mitchell, has called together the first South African symposium on animal ethics.

Dr Mitchell, who is Director of the Hunterstoun Centre at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa, hosted the ground-breaking symposium on 29th and 30th May, 2010.

Invited attendees were academics from various South African universities, journalists, legal experts, and activists, including Professor Chrissie Boughey of Rhodes University, Professor Thaddeus Metz of the University of Johannesburg, Chris McConnachie, Rhodes Mandela Scholar presently at the Constitutional Court, Patricia Glyn, journalist explorer and writer, Harry Owen, poet, and Tozie Zokufa from Compassion in World Farming. Presentations included the history of animal rights, dignity rights for animals, Cape Town’s Meat Free Day, and what it means to be humane. The symposium demonstrated the range of scholarship in South Africa around this subject and augers well for the organization of a full academic conference at a later date.

The University of Fort Hare has many alumni, such as Nelson Mandela and Julius Nyerere, who have played significant roles in liberation struggles in Africa. “It seems only fitting that we should have gathered here to continue the liberation struggle with a focus on those beings who are so often neglected”, commented Dr Mitchell.

The new Centre has a remarkable setting in the woods of the historic Amatole Mountains, and has been set aside as a place for pioneering academic research and inquiry. Dr Mitchell was appointed the new Director in 2009. The symposium is the first of many planned on contemporary social and moral issues.

More information about the Hunterstoun Centre can be found here.

DVDs of the symposium will shortly be available for sale from the Centre. For more information contact the Director here.