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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
by Michelle C. Pardo
As Americans begin to ramp up air travel, they may notice less four-legged passengers on their flights. On January 11, 2020, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new rules regarding service animals on flights went into effect and may have a material effect on the type and volume of animals that travel on domestic flights. Continue reading “Emotional Support Animals Lose Status on U.S. Flights”
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”
On December 22, 2020, the United States Congress passed an omnibus spending bill (the December relief bill) that included significant revisions and additions to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and previously amended by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPP Flexibility Act). President Trump signed the bill on December 27, 2020.
Duane Morris has published two Alerts on the December relief bill.
Of particular interest to aquariums and zoological parks that operate as nonprofits, the December relief bill includes Shuttered Venue Operator Grants for certain businesses impacted by COVID-19, including live venue operators, entertainment businesses, arts and cultural organizations, “relevant museums” and others that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and related government and industry restrictions.
The definition of “museum” includes aquariums, arboretums, botanical gardens, art museums, children’s museums, general museums, historic houses and sites, history museums, nature centers, natural history and anthropology museums, planetariums, science and technology centers, specialized museums and zoological parks.
Eligibility for the grants depends in part on the entity’s reduction in gross earned revenue over the same quarter in 2019.
For businesses of 300 or fewer employees, there will be an opportunity to receive a second PPP loan, provided that certain other criteria are met. The first Alert, “Second PPP Loans Available for Certain Businesses; Changes to PPP Loan Terms and Conditions,” summarizes the criteria for the “second-draw” loans available for certain businesses.