Ninth Circuit Bounces Consumer’s Claim of Misleading Poultry Product Labeling

On June 4, 2021, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative state law consumer class action claiming that chicken products marketed by Trade Joe’s were mislabeled.  Webb v. Trader Joe’s Co., ___ F.3d ___,  No. 19-56389 (9th Cir. June 4, 2021).  The labels stated that the products contained “[u]p to 5% retained water,” but plaintiff claimed that an independent laboratory test showed that the products “contained on average, 9% Retained Water.”  Slip op. at 5.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that all of plaintiff’s claims were pre-empted by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), 21 U.S.C. § 467e. Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Bounces Consumer’s Claim of Misleading Poultry Product Labeling”

D.C. Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Activist Group’s Case Against Fish & Wildlife Service

Affirming a district court decision that we reported on last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently found that the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) had no standing in a case claiming that  the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service should have utilized notice and comment procedures when it created its framework for making species status assessments under the Endangered Species Act.  Center for Biological Diversity v. Haaland, No. 20-5088 (D.C. Cir. May 25, 2021) (per curiam).  The appellate court agreed with the district court that CBD had shown no Article III “injury in fact.” Continue reading “D.C. Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Activist Group’s Case Against Fish & Wildlife Service”

Ninth Circuit Tosses Animal Rights Consumer Case For Lack Of Standing

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit brought under the California Unfair Competition Law by Friends of Animals and two other advocacy groups challenging the “100% natural” language in the advertising of the defendant poultry producer.  Friends of the Earth v. Sanderson Farms, Inc., No. 19-16696 (9th Cir. Mar. 31, 2021).  The appellate court agreed with the district court that plaintiffs had failed to prove organizational standing. Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Tosses Animal Rights Consumer Case For Lack Of Standing”

Supreme Court Addresses When a “Draft Biological Opinion” Really is a “Draft” Under the FOIA

Today, in her first published opinion on the Supreme Court, Justice Barrett delivered the majority opinion in U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv. v. Sierra Club, Inc., No. 19-547 (U.S. Mar. 4, 2021), a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case involving whether draft biological opinions of the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service were exempt from public disclosure.  The Court ruled that they were, and overturned a contrary determination by the Ninth Circuit. Continue reading “Supreme Court Addresses When a “Draft Biological Opinion” Really is a “Draft” Under the FOIA”

D.C. Circuit Ducks Constitutionality of USDA ALJ’s — For Now

A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently decided a significant case for those animal-related businesses who are subject to regulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Fleming v. U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture, No. 17-1246, 1249 & 1250 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 16, 2021). Continue reading “D.C. Circuit Ducks Constitutionality of USDA ALJ’s — For Now”

PeTA’s Euthanasia Rate — Part II

Last week, we wrote on the overall euthasia rate in 2020 for the animal “shelter” that animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) runs in Norfolk, Virginia.  (“Euthanasia rate” here means how many animals the shelter euthanized (killed) expressed as percentage of how many animals the shelter took in during 2020.  It is based on data that every animal shelter in Virginia is required to submit annually to the Virginia Department of  Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).)  PeTA’s euthanasia rate was far higher than the average euthanasia rate for other shelters in Virginia.  When compared to the overall euthanasia rate of all reporting agencies in Virginia in 2020, as reported by VDACS, PeTA’s rate was more than 11 times higher for dogs, more than 7 times higher for cats and more than 9 times higher for dogs and cats combined.

This week, we dig a little deeper into the numbers. Continue reading “PeTA’s Euthanasia Rate — Part II”

Euthanasia At PETA’s “Shelter” Still Occurring At Alarming Rate

On prior occasions (here and here), we have written about the high rate at which animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) euthanizes the animals that it takes in at its Norfolk, Virginia animal “shelter.”  All public and private animal shelters and other animal releasing agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia are required to submit an annual summary of their animal custody records to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).  PETA’s report for 2020 recently filed with VDACS reveals that PETA’s death rate still outpaces the average rate at which other shelters in Virginia euthanize animals. Continue reading “Euthanasia At PETA’s “Shelter” Still Occurring At Alarming Rate”

COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation Contains Several Animal-Related Provisions

In addition to financial relief measures for those individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the omnibus spending legislation that President Trump signed on December 27, 2020 (H.R. 133 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021), contains several provisions related to animals. Continue reading “COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation Contains Several Animal-Related Provisions”

Denial of Habeas Relief for Bronx Zoo Elephant Affirmed on Appeal

On December 17, 2020, a New York intermediate appellate court rejected an attempt by the animal rights organization, Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), to obtain habeas corpus relief for a 48-year old Asian elephant named “Happy,” who resides at the Bronx Zoo.  In re Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Breheny, Case No. 2020-02581 (Sup. Ct. App. Div. 1st Dept. Dec. 17, 2020). Continue reading “Denial of Habeas Relief for Bronx Zoo Elephant Affirmed on Appeal”

PETA Offers Unconvincing Defense For The High Kill Rate In Its “Shelter”

by John M. Simpson.

As we have written before (here and here), the animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), operates a facility in Norfolk, Virginia that it calls an animal “shelter.”  Every public and private animal shelter in the Commonwealth of Virginia is required, annually, to submit a report to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) that details the number of animals that the shelter took in during the year and what happened to them.  PETA’s  most recent report (for 2019) revealed that PETA euthanized dogs and cats at rates that far exceeded the average rates for all private animal shelters in Virginia.  The PETA euthanasia rate for dogs was more than thirteen times the average rate for private shelters, and PETA’s euthanasia rate for cats was more than eleven times the average rate for private shelters. Continue reading “PETA Offers Unconvincing Defense For The High Kill Rate In Its “Shelter””