The UVU Animal Allies club will team up with several other departments to host an Animal Rights conference March 29-April 2.

The conference will be held at UVU and will feature speakers who will address concerns related to animal ethics.

The conference has been in planning for over a year, but has been discussed for much longer than that. The purpose is to raise awareness about how animals are treated and what can be done to help with the cause.

“We’ve been talking about doing this for three years,” said UVU professor and conference organizer Chris Foster. “We knew we could get more funding and more of the focus from the ethics center if we waited till 2010 so that’s what we did.”

The list of attendees will include names such as Jane Akre, Bernard Rollin, Michaela Sawyer, Peter Young, Marc Bekoff and Alex Simon. According to members of the planning committee there will also be an appearance from Tom Regan, one of the most famous names in animal ethics philosophy.

The focus of the conference will be centered around the moral status of animals. Those involved will present their views on current issues in animal ethics.

“The treatment of animals in this society is mostly a hidden issue,” said UVU Professor and organizer Karen Mizell. “We need to educate people on the ethical treatment of animals and let them decide for themselves, we can’t run away from this.”

The event will be open to students as well as the general public. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to participate as much as possible in the meetings and other activities.

“We are one of the pre-eminent ethics programs in the country and we feel that it’s time to focus on the treatment of animals,” said Foster. “We’re expecting great speaker after great speaker and it might be hard to pull yourself away once it’s over.”