Justin Marceau, DU's new animal law professor.

(Courtesy University of Denver)

What is the next frontier in civil rights? It may be civil rights for animals -- like a current effort to get legal "personhood" for chimpanzees -- according to Justin Marceau, the University of Denver's first full-time animal law professor. Marceau is involved in major litigation against a so-called "Ag-Gag" law in Idaho, which he argues criminalizes whistleblowers who secretly film abuses at slaughterhouses and farms. It's also an issues in Colorado, where Marceau took a stand against a bill he said would undermine the efforts of whistleblowers. That bill ultimately failed in the Colorado Legislature last session.

Marceau's position at DU is funded by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a charitable organization that protects the lives and advances the interests of animals in the legal system.

He spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.