The second day of the conference features in-depth panels on important issues affecting marine mammals, big cats and nonhuman primates. Panelists include experts with direct experience of the often-shocking conditions in which these animals are confined in marine parks, roadside zoos and circuses, as well as their use as "animal actors" and exotic "pets."
Highlights of the day include:
• Panel on the use of cetaceans in "entertainment" featuring Animal Welfare Institute marine mammal scientist Naomi Rose, neuroscientist and founder of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy Lori Marino -- both heavily featured in the documentary Blackfish -- and Ric O'Barry, founder of The Dolphin Project and featured in Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, which exposed the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, and its links to the marine park industry.
Steven Wise, director of the Nonhuman Rights Project, will describe his revolutionary work to win legal personhood for nonhuman animals in the courts, challenging the status of animals as property. His initial efforts have focused on chimpanzees and may be applied to elephants in the future.
• Gary Baum, author of Animals Were Harmed, the Hollywood Reporter's scathing exposé on the abuse and deaths of animals used in film and television, on a panel about the use of wild animals in these mediums.
• Primate expert Sarah Baeckler Davis, whose groundbreaking undercover work exposed the cruelty behind training nonhuman primates for entertainment, on a panel discussing the use of nonhuman primates for entertainment and as "pets."
• Eye-opening panels on captive big cats - including the enormous number of tigers and lions in captivity and the often-horrid conditions of their confinement.
• Featured speaker David Hancocks, author and former zoo director, will address the issue of zoos.