What is the difference in practice between animal welfare and animal rights, and how does this difference matter for reducing animal suffering in South Africa?

Persons advocating for better treatment of animals usually take one of two principal philosophical positions. Welfarists argue that the exploitation of animals is morally acceptable if this is done with a minimum of unnecessary suffering. Animal rights theory varies widely, but most animal rights positions hold that animals exist for their own reasons, and we should seek to eliminate all forms of exploitation whatsoever, since recognising even a few fundamental rights for animals is inconsistent with their use in food, medicine, entertainment and other contexts. The academic debate about which of these two positions is correct has huge practical implications for animals.

There have arguably been few times in history when the conditions of life and death were worse for animals than is the case currently, and the average lived experience for a sentient vertebrate mammal is one of suffering and a violent premature death.

This webinar will both explore these themes at an academic level, and review the current policy and legal framework that determines how they play out in practice for animals in South Africa.


31 July 2024, 14:00 to 16:00 SAST

Who will benefit from this webinar?

All persons interested in the philosophy and ethics of animal protection, legal scholars, persons working in life sciences disciplines, as well as advocates for animal protection.


Tony Gerrans lives in Cape Town South Africa, and has worked in government, private business and the not-for-profit sector, primarily in the agricultural and animal welfare fields. As a Principal Planner in the Restitution Research Directorate of the South African Department of Land Affairs, he was part of the team researching and advising the post-apartheid Commission on Restitution of Land Rights on the legal validity of land restitution claims filed by victims of South Africa’s racially-based ‘separate development’ policy. He has also served as a trustee of the Humane Education Trust, the South African affiliate of Compassion in World Farming, and currently serves as legal advisor on the Cape Animal Welfare Forum. Tony is now working with Humane Society International as the Executive Director of African operations directing work across Africa which seeks to protect wildlife, farmed animals, companion animals, and animals used in testing. He has a specific interest in animal law, holds a Masters degree in Animal Law from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, and has presented on animal law topics at events in the USA, across Africa and China. Tony was a 2021 Centre for Animal Law Studies Ambassador and a Visiting Fellow at the Animal Law and Policy Program at Harvard Law School in 2023.

How much?

R780 per person

How to sign up

Complete and submit the registration form. You will then be given the payment information. Please note that registrations will not be considered complete until payment has been made.

One or two days before the webinar, we will send you the Zoom link. You will need to register and use a password to enter the webinar.

Registrations close three days before the webinar.

View the advert here.

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