North Carolina Jury Hands Down Felony Convictions for Animal Activist’s “Open Rescue”

by Michelle C. Pardo

Wayne Hsiung, animal activist and co-founder of Berkeley, CA-based animal rights group, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), was found guilty by jury of felony larceny after breaking and entering and felony breaking and entering, for taking a goat from the Sospiro Goat Ranch in Transylvania County, North Carolina, back in 2018.

Hsiung, who had spearheaded DxE’s “open rescues” – illegally entering agriculture properties without permission and taking animals to liberate them – had been charged with criminal conduct in multiple jurisdictions.  In the North Carolina case, Hsiung claimed that he and the other DxE “investigators” entered the ranch to identify animals that were diseased or suffering from neglect.  According to the goat ranch, at the time of the “rescue” the baby goat was living with its mother and healthy and nursing well at the time of its theft. Continue reading “North Carolina Jury Hands Down Felony Convictions for Animal Activist’s “Open Rescue””

Maine “Right to Food” Constitutional Amendment On the Ballot

by Michelle C. Pardo

Maine voters will go to the polls today to vote up or down on whether to support a  “right to food.”   Today’s ballot will ask voters to decide if they want to amend the state constitution to include a right to:

“declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being”

Maine would be the first state to codify a right to food.  Supporters of the amendment have said that approval of the amendment will “enshrine in the most fundamental form of law their right to make their own choices when feeding themselves and their families” and also will “promote locally produced food products and improve consumer health and safety.” Continue reading “Maine “Right to Food” Constitutional Amendment On the Ballot”

Roadkill Provisions of Infrastructure Bill: Needed or Just a Boondoggle?

To paraphrase Forrest Gump’s mother, congressional spending measures are “like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”  This is no less true with respect the recent infrastructure bill, H.R. 3684, that passed the U.S. Senate on August 10 in engrossed amendment form.  Continue reading “Roadkill Provisions of Infrastructure Bill: Needed or Just a Boondoggle?”

Eighth Circuit Upholds Part of Iowa “Ag Gag” Law

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld, in part, the constitutionality of an Iowa law that makes it a criminal offense to obtain access to an agricultural facility by false pretenses.  Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Reynolds, No. 19-1364 (8th Cir. Aug. 10, 2021).  The court reversed in part a district court ruling that the law violated the First Amendment. Continue reading “Eighth Circuit Upholds Part of Iowa “Ag Gag” Law”

Animal Rights Group’s “Purely Speculative” Changes to Wildlife Management Plan Don’t Support Emergency Relief for Tule Elk

By Michelle C. Pardo

On June 22, 2021, Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and three individuals (represented by Harvard University’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic) brought an Administrative Procedure Act (APA) case against the Secretary of the Interior, the Acting Director of the National Park Service, and the Superintendent of Point Reyes National Seashore, regarding what plaintiffs allege is the federal government’s inhumane management practices of Tule elk, a species of elk native to California. At issue: the government’s alleged failure to revise the 1980 General Management Plan for the Tomales Point portion of the Point Reyes National Seashore (located in Marin County, California) where 293 Tule elk live as well as the 1998 Tule Elk Management Plan, which provided for elk restoration and conservation. Continue reading “Animal Rights Group’s “Purely Speculative” Changes to Wildlife Management Plan Don’t Support Emergency Relief for Tule Elk”

Ninth Circuit Rebuffs Constitutional Challenge to Beef Check-Off

On July 27, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment against claims that certain promotional activities funded by beef check-off funds amounted to unconstitutional compelled speech.  Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund v. Vilsack, No. 20-35453 (9th Cir. July 27, 2021). Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Rebuffs Constitutional Challenge to Beef Check-Off”

Proposed Ballot Initiative Would End Animal Protein Production and Hunting in Oregon

On June 21, 2021, the Oregon secretary of state received Initiative Petition 2022-13 (IP 13), a ballot initiative for the November 8, 2022 general election which had been captioned by the state attorney general as follows:  “Criminalizes injuring/killing animals, including killing for food, hunting, fishing; criminalizes most breeding practices.  Exceptions.”  IP 13, which emerged last November, would have far-reaching effects in Oregon if adopted by voters next year. Continue reading “Proposed Ballot Initiative Would End Animal Protein Production and Hunting in Oregon”

Animal Rights Group Sues USDA Over “Non-Enforcement” of Animal Welfare Act

By Michelle C. Pardo

Earlier this month, animal rights group The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) filed a lawsuit under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for what it alleges to be the agency’s non-enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) as it pertains to commercially bred dogs. ASPCA v. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, et al. (1:21-cv-01600) (D.D.C.). Continue reading “Animal Rights Group Sues USDA Over “Non-Enforcement” of Animal Welfare Act”

© 2009- Duane Morris LLP. Duane Morris is a registered service mark of Duane Morris LLP.

The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

Proudly powered by WordPress