Tag Archives: animal law

Ninth Circuit Rejects Enviro Challenge to Forest Service’s Motorized Big Game Retrieval Plan

By John M. Simpson.

On May 6, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected environmental groups’ challenges  to travel management plans issued by the U.S. Forest Service (Service) pursuant to the Service’s Travel Management Rule in three Ranger Districts in the Kaibab National Forest:  the Williams, Tusayan and North Kaibab Ranger Districts.  WildEarth Guardians, et al. v. Provencio, No. 17-17373 (9th Cir. May 6, 2019).  The court of appeals concluded that the Service’s actions were not contrary to the Travel Management Rule and complied with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).  Continue reading Ninth Circuit Rejects Enviro Challenge to Forest Service’s Motorized Big Game Retrieval Plan

British Dairy Farmers Also Caught in the Activist Cross-Hairs

By John M. Simpson.

Last week, we reported on an Australian animal rights group that published an interactive map providing the names, locations and other identifying details of farmers and other animal enterprises across Australia.  This week, an organization in the U.K. followed suit and published a similar map targeting dairy famers in England and Wales.  Continue reading British Dairy Farmers Also Caught in the Activist Cross-Hairs

Australian Animal Rights Group Stirs Controversy With Map Targeting Farmers

by John M. Simpson.

Aussie Farms, an animal rights organization in Australia, recently published an interactive map on its website and Facebook page that provides particulars on a wide range of animal enterprises in Australia.  The map includes street addresses and actual map grid coordinates for farms and similar enterprises located throughout Australia.  Each of the map locations has a live link to a database of information that Aussie Farms claims it has assembled on the targeted businesses. Continue reading Australian Animal Rights Group Stirs Controversy With Map Targeting Farmers

Canadian Court Declares Ontario SPCA Unconstitutional

by John M. Simpson.

On January 2 of this year, a trial court in the Canadian province of Ontario declared unconstitutional certain provisions of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (“OSPCA Act”).  Bogaerts v. Attorney General of Ontario, 2019 ONSC 41, No. 749/13 (Jan. 2, 2019).   The OSPCA Act is the organic legislation  that governs the operations of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“OSPCA”), an animal welfare organization established in 1873.  Continue reading Canadian Court Declares Ontario SPCA Unconstitutional

“Fake Meat” Discussed at Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting

by John M. Simpson.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), a prominent non-governmental organization in the U.S. representing farm and ranch families, held its annual meeting earlier this month in New Orleans.  Among the topics discussed (in addition to the address by President Trump), was the increase in “alternative protein” production, namely meat-like substances that are derived from plant ingredients or that are cell-based and grown in a laboratory from animal cells.  Plant-based “meat” products (e.g., “tofurky”) are currently available at retail.  Cell-cultured “meat” products are not yet available but could be seen in 2019. Continue reading “Fake Meat” Discussed at Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting

Federal Judge Finds PETA Investigative Technique Unlawful

by John M. Simpson.

The animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has been known to utilize “undercover” video and other methods in conducting investigations of animal enterprises.  One of those techniques was recently found unlawful by a federal district court.  PETA v. Tri-State Zoological Park of W. Maryland, 2018 WL 5761689, No. 1:17-cv-02148 (D. Md. Nov. 1, 2018). Continue reading Federal Judge Finds PETA Investigative Technique Unlawful

PETA’s Attack on Seafood Restaurant Backfires

By John M. Simpson.

Last fall, we reported on a situation in Baltimore, Maryland, in which a local, family-owned seafood restaurant decided to resist a campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) against steamed crabs.  PETA purchased a billboard advertisement in which a Maryland crab proclaimed “I’m ME, not MEAT.  See the individual.  Go Vegan.”  PETA believes that crabs feel pain and that the method of boiling them alive is inhumane.  Since crabs are invertebrates, whether they feel pain or just demonstrate a reflex action is debatable.  The science is not conclusive on this point.

Seeing PETA’s move as an assault on the entire Maryland crab industry, a local establishment which has sold steamed crabs for decades decided enough was enough, stood up and took the animal rights group on. Continue reading PETA’s Attack on Seafood Restaurant Backfires

Eighth Circuit Upholds Trump Administration’s Scuttling of Packers and Stockyards Act Rules

By John M. Simpson.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently denied a petition for review of the Secretary of Agriculture’s actions to withdraw interim final and proposed regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA).  Organization for Competitive Markets, et al., v. Dep’t of Agriculture, et al., No. 17-3723 (8th Cir. Dec. 21, 2018).  The  interim final and proposed rules had been issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Obama Administration in late 2016 but were scuttled by the Trump Administration.  Continue reading Eighth Circuit Upholds Trump Administration’s Scuttling of Packers and Stockyards Act Rules

FDA Reports on Antimicrobial Drug Use in Food-Producing Animals

By John M. Simpson.

On December 18, 2018, the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced the issuance of the FDA’s 2017 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals.  As the Commissioner noted, the health issues posed by antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are a significant problem.  Antimicrobial resistance is “the ability of a microorganism (bacteria, virus, fungi, parasite) to resist the effects of a drug.”  Therefore, “[o]ptimizing how medically important antimicrobial drugs are used and limiting their use to only when necessary to treat, control or prevent disease will help to preserve the effectiveness of these drugs for fighting disease in both humans and animals.”  Continue reading FDA Reports on Antimicrobial Drug Use in Food-Producing Animals

Court Dismisses Challenge to USDA’s Failure to Issue AWA Avian Regulations

By John M. Simpson

Earlier this week, a federal district court in Washington, D.C., dismissed an action brought by animal rights organizations challenging the failure of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue animal welfare regulations specific to birds under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).  American Anti-Vivisection Soc’y, et al. v. U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture, et al., No. 1:18-cv-01138 (TNM) (D.D.C. Dec. 10, 2018).  While finding that the plaintiffs had pleaded sufficient facts to establish Article III standing to sue, the court rejected their substantive claims under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA):  (i) that USDA’s failure to promulgate regulations applicable to birds was “agency action unlawfully withheld;” and (ii) that USDA’s decision not to issue the standards was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law.  Continue reading Court Dismisses Challenge to USDA’s Failure to Issue AWA Avian Regulations