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Ignite DC #3

Kathy Guillermo

A look into the Exotic Animal Trade

Since its early days, PETA's campaigns and outreach to consumers, companies, and policy-makers have been based on its undercover investigations. PETA Vice President Kathy Guillermo will discuss the organization's most recent expose of a major player in the pet trade. Guillermo's captivating presentation will detail the hidden side of the pet trade industry, discuss how evidence collected by undercover investigators resulted in the largest confiscation of animals in history, and empower the audience to make a real difference in animals' lives.

About Kathy Guillermo:

PETA Vice President Kathy Guillermo is responsible for uncovering abuses in laboratories, working with whistleblowers to expose violations of animal protection laws, seeking prosecution of abusers by federal and state agencies, and replacing animals in laboratories with modern, non-animal methods of experimentation.

A 20-year veteran of PETA, Guillermo was originally hired to head PETA's cosmetics-testing campaign in 1989. She spearheaded efforts to persuade major corporations— including Estée Lauder and Gillette—to declare permanent bans on all animal tests. In the first three years of the campaign, PETA's list of cruelty-free companies grew from 50 companies to more than 300. Under Guillermo's direction, the campaign drew headlines for staging colorful events, such as hanging banners from the Eiffel Tower and the Brooklyn Bridge, and enlisting the aid of celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Kevin Nealon, and Kim Basinger.

Guillermo's 1993 book, Monkey Business: The Disturbing Case That Launched the Animal Rights Movement (National Press Books, foreword by Oliver Stone), details the cruelty case that launched then-fledgling PETA into national prominence. The landmark Silver Spring monkeys case also led to the first-ever conviction of an animal experimenter on cruelty-to-animals charges.

Guillermo has appeared on numerous television and radio programs to discuss animal rights issues, including NPR's Talk of the Nation, The Howard Stern Show, Buchanan & Press, CNN and Company, and many others. Her writing has been published by numerous major newspapers, including The Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, Newsday, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Houston Chronicle.

Guillermo graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley in 1981. For several years before joining PETA, she worked as a spokesperson for one of the country's largest animal shelters. She is married and has three children and four rescued dogs.

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