Tag Archives: animal rights

California Federal Court Serves Up a Win to Foie Gras Producers

by Michelle C. Pardo

In 2004, after a strong push from animal rights activists, California banned the production and sale of foie gras, a luxury gourmet food and traditional French delicacy that is made from duck or geese liver.   See CA Health & Safety Code, Section 25982 (“A product may not be sold in California if it is the result of force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond a normal size.”).  The ban went into effect in 2012.  Years of litigation by a restaurant operator and a coalition of foie gras producers, which challenged the law as vague and unreasonably interfering with interstate commerce, had been unsuccessful.  In 2017, the Ninth Circuit upheld the statute, and last year, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear arguments in the foie gras industry’s challenge to the ban.

This week Stephen V. Wilson, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and ruled that the ban did not cover the shipment of foie gras by out-of-state producers to California customers. Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec et al. v. Kamala J. Harris, et al. (2:12-cv-05735-SVW-RZ) (C.D. Cal. July 14, 2020).  Continue reading California Federal Court Serves Up a Win to Foie Gras Producers

Animal Rights Challenge to FWS Sport Trophy Decision Fails in D.C. Circuit

by John M. Simpson.

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Bernhardt, ___ F.3d ___, No. 19-5152 (D.C. Cir. June 16, 2020), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently affirmed a district court’s rejection of a challenge by animal rights groups to a decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to withdraw blanket findings as to whether the importation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of certain sport trophies of “threatened” species taken in other countries would enhance the survival and not be detrimental to the survival of those species. Continue reading Animal Rights Challenge to FWS Sport Trophy Decision Fails in D.C. Circuit

Habeas Corpus Petition For Elephant Strikes Out Again

by John M. Simpson.

The Connecticut Appellate Court recently rejected yet another attempt by the animal rights group Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. (NHRP) to free an elephant in private ownership through the device of a petition for habeas corpus.  Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. R. W. Commerford & Sons, Inc., No. AC 42795 (Conn. App. May 19, 2020). Continue reading Habeas Corpus Petition For Elephant Strikes Out Again

While COVID-19 Spreads, PETA Spreads Misinformation On Animal Testing

by John M. Simpson.

The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment (PETA) is well known for attention-grabbing tactics.  Even in “normal” times, PETA can be counted on to push the envelope (or break through it entirely).  As non-animal humans worldwide suffer through the current COVID-19 pandemic, PETA has seized upon the crisis to promote its animal rights agenda, including the organization’s long-standing opposition to the use of animals in testing the safety and efficacy of drugs and vaccines to cure and prevent human disease.  PETA has made several recent statements suggesting the coming demise of animal testing that are quite misleading. Continue reading While COVID-19 Spreads, PETA Spreads Misinformation On Animal Testing

Ninth Circuit Rejects Activist Appeal in Endangered Dugong Case

by John M. Simpson.

On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the government in a case brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and other plaintiffs to challenge a decision by the Department of Defense (DOD) approving a plan to construct a replacement aircraft base in Okinawa, Japan, for the U.S. Marine Corps.  Center for Biological Diversity v. Esper, __ F.3d __, No. 18-16836 (9th Cir. May 6, 2020).  In this case, which had originated in 2003, the issue was whether DOD had complied with section 402 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 54 U.S.C. § 307101(e). Continue reading Ninth Circuit Rejects Activist Appeal in Endangered Dugong Case

National Zoo Elephant’s Passing Underscores Longevity of Captive Elephants

by John M. Simpson.

On March 28, 2020, the National Zoo announced the passing of one of the oldest Asian elephants maintained in a zoological environment. The elephant Ambika, who had resided at the National Zoo for 59 years was estimated to be 72 years old at the time of death. Continue reading National Zoo Elephant’s Passing Underscores Longevity of Captive Elephants

New York Court Denies Habeas Petition for Bronx Zoo Elephant

by John M. Simpson.

On February 18, 2020, a trial court in Bronx County, New York, denied a habeas corpus petition filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) on behalf of “Happy,” a 48-year old Asian elephant residing in the Bronx Zoo.  Nonhuman Rights Project v. Breheny, No. 260441/19 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Bronx Cty. Feb. 18, 2020). The court ruled, based on binding New York precedent, that “Happy” is not a “person” for purposes of habeas corpus relief. Continue reading New York Court Denies Habeas Petition for Bronx Zoo Elephant

PETA Animal “Shelter” Continues to Show High Euthanization Rate

by John M. Simpson.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is well known for its publicity-seeking tactics.  Over the past Super Bowl weekend, PETA generated controversy with a commercial that it claims was rejected by the Fox Network which depicted cartoon animals “taking a knee” during the National Anthem.  The social media response was not positive.  Some critics saw this as trivializing and misappropriating Colin Kaepernick’s protest activities or trivializing the civil rights movement in general.  During this same period, PETA’s founder, Ingrid Newkirk, went on record claiming that calling a pet a “pet” is offensive and disrespectful and tantamount to calling a woman “honey” or “sweetie,” drawing another offensive comparison — this time between dog or cat ownership and sexual discrimination and harassment. Continue reading PETA Animal “Shelter” Continues to Show High Euthanization Rate

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

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