Television host's gift creates animal law program at U. Va.
4:18 PM EST, January 13, 2009
Television personality Bob Barker is giving the University of Virginia a $1 million gift to create an animal law program. The Bob Barker Animal Rights Program will be housed in the university's school of law.
Barker, the longtime host of the game show "The Price is Right," is an advocate on animal rights issues such as pet overpopulation and animal cruelty and neglect. In 1995, he created the DJ&T Foundation in memory of his wife and mother to support free and low-cost spaying and neutering clinics and programs. The new program at U. Va. Will feature courses focused on animal rights and law, guest speakers and a writing competition. Law professor Mimi Riley will head the new program.
The first formal class on animal law will debut in 2009-10. Barker has made previous gifts for animal law programs at other law schools, including those at Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, Duke, Northwestern and Stanford universities and at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Bob Barker has long been an animal supporter. Most of us are aware of his efforts to support spaying and neutering programs. However, his efforts now have turned to supporting law school programs to educate students on granting legal rights to animals and, in general, giving human rights to animals. The rise in law students studying animal law has been compared to the rise in environmental law students in the 1970’s. We have seen how that has impacted our lives.