Category Archives: General

Is It Time for Animal Welfare Act Bird Regulations To Come Home to Roost?

In 2002 Congress made clear that the Animal Welfare Act (“AWA”) protects birds, but the USDA has not issued bird-specific Animal Welfare Act regulations in the ensuing 18 years, much to the chagrin of animal rights groups.  But their luck may be changing.

Continue reading Is It Time for Animal Welfare Act Bird Regulations To Come Home to Roost?

Ninth Circuit Rejects Kids’ Climate Case

by Michelle C. Pardo

Back in 2015, the case of Juliana v. U.S., brought by 21 young people and various environmental groups in federal court in Oregon, grabbed many headlines.  The issue: plaintiffs alleged that the U.S. government was violating their constitutional rights by contributing to climate change, despite knowing of its significant and catastrophic consequences.  The lawsuit highlighted the impact of fossil fuels on the Earth’s climate and alleged that the federal government has long understood the risk of fossil fuel use and increasing carbon emissions, and has deprived plaintiffs of the right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life.”  Frustrated with the lack of action from the political process, this group of young plaintiffs, with a hefty backing of environmental activists, tried to get the federal courts to take action.  The relief requested: a court order to compel the government to end fossil-fuel subsidies and adopt policies that would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Continue reading Ninth Circuit Rejects Kids’ Climate Case

Farmers in Ontario Could Get Increased Protection from Animal Rights Trespassers

by John M. Simpson.

On December 2, Bill 156 was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada, entitled the “Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2019.”  The measure, which was introduced by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and which passed upon first reading, stiffens protections for farmers and animal processing facilities against trespass and other physical property invasions or interference with animal transportation. Continue reading Farmers in Ontario Could Get Increased Protection from Animal Rights Trespassers

President Trump Signs “Crush Video” Legislation

by John M. Simpson.

On November 25, President Trump signed the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act” or “PACT Act” — H.R. 724 — which has become law as Public Law No. 116-72.  Unlike most recent examples of federal legislative gridlock, this measure went through both houses of Congress with very little, if any, opposition.  The bill cleared the House on a motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill and passed by voice vote.  In the Senate, the bill passed by unanimous consent. Continue reading President Trump Signs “Crush Video” Legislation

This Little Piggy Went to Court

by Michelle C. Pardo

We previously blogged about the animal rights’ movement’s attempts to convince various U.S. courts to allow animals the same rights as people in the court system.  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s (PETA’s) failed “monkey selfie” case, an effort to convince a federal court to rule that the crested macaque had standing under the Copyright Act, was not only dismissed, but earned PETA a sharp rebuke from the Ninth Circuit, when the court determined that the activist group seemingly employed Naruto the monkey as “an unwitting pawn it its ideological goals.”  Now PETA has taken its “animal personhood” crusade internationally. Continue reading This Little Piggy Went to Court

Animal Rights Group’s Charity Status Revoked by Australian Authorities

by John M. Simpson.

We have reported previously on the activities of Aussie Farms, an animal rights group in Australia that, earlier this year, published an internet-based interactive map showing the locations and other information regarding hundreds of farms and other animal-based businesses in Australia.  The map provoked a strong, negative reaction from the agriculture community in Australia, with some calling for the revocation of Aussie Farms’ status as a charity.  On November 18, 2019, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) announced that it had “revoked the charity status of Aussie Farms following an investigation.”  Continue reading Animal Rights Group’s Charity Status Revoked by Australian Authorities

Australian State Gets Tough With Animal Rights Trespassers

by John M. Simpson.

On November 13, 2019, the Parliament of New South Wales passed legislation aimed at dealing with the increasing threat to farmers and their operations posed by animal rights activists in Australia who have taken up physical property trespassing as a tactic to get their various points across.  The measure, entitled the Right to Farm Bill 2019, increases the criminal penalties for aggravated trespass and creates a new offense for inciting aggravated trespass. Continue reading Australian State Gets Tough With Animal Rights Trespassers

House Passes Bill Amending “Crush Video” Prohibition

by John M. Simpson.

On October 22, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 724, entitled the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act” or “PACT Act.”  The measure would retain the existing prohibition in 18 U.S.C. § 48 on the creation and distribution of “crush videos” but would also criminalize an intentional act of animal crushing.   Continue reading House Passes Bill Amending “Crush Video” Prohibition

Court Rejects Tofurky’s Request for Preliminary Injunction to Halt Enforcement of Missouri’s Meat Advertising Law

By Michelle C. Pardo

We previously blogged about the case of Turtle Island Foods, et al. v. Mark Richardson, 2:18-cv-04173, pending in federal court in the Western District of Missouri. Turtle Island Foods, doing business as The Tofurky Company (“Tofurky”) which produces plant-based products, together with The Good Food Institute (an organization founded in part by Bruce Friedrich, former director of PETA’s vegan campaigns), sued Missouri prosecutors over its 2018 amended meat advertising law. The law requires that in order for a product to be labeled as “meat” it must come from “any edible portion of livestock, poultry, or captive cervid carcass or part thereof.” Mo. Rev. Stat. § 265.300(7). Under the amended law, plant based products, such as Tofurky’s veggie burgers or sausage, would be deemed to be misleading unless the labels contain an appropriate qualifier such as “plant-based,” “veggie,” “lab grown,” or “lab created.” Lab-grown or cultured meat products (also referred to as “clean meat”) is a new technology in which meat is grown from in vitro animal cell culture instead of from slaughtered animals. These products have not yet debuted in the marketplace. Continue reading Court Rejects Tofurky’s Request for Preliminary Injunction to Halt Enforcement of Missouri’s Meat Advertising Law

Buttonwood Park Zoo Defeats Endangered Species Act Lawsuit

by Michelle C. Pardo

We previously blogged about an Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit which pitted an animal rights activist against the Buttonwood Park Zoo (owned and operated by the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts). The zoo’s two elephants, Emily and Ruth, approximately 55 and 61 years old, respectively, have spent the greater part of their lives at Buttonwood Park. In 2017, longtime zoo patron Joyce Rowley, an animal rights activist who runs Friends of Ruth & Emily, an organization “dedicated to retiring Asian elephants Ruth and Emily from Buttonwood Park Zoo,” brought a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court against the zoo. Rowley claimed that the zoo was committing an illegal “take” of the elephants when it failed to provide them with, among other things, adequate veterinary care and socialization, including a failure to protect one of the elephants from its more aggressive elephant companion. Her requested relief included confiscation of the elephants and relocating them to an elephant “sanctuary.” Continue reading Buttonwood Park Zoo Defeats Endangered Species Act Lawsuit