By Michelle C. Pardo
Four animal rights groups have submitted a joint public comment in response to the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the labeling of meat and poultry products comprised of or containing cultured cells derived from animals subject to the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act.
While cell-cultured or lab grown meat (also referred to as “clean meat” or “fake meat”) has been in the headlines for years, the road to federal regulation of such products and their debut on store shelves is still a work in progress. We previously blogged about animal rights groups’ efforts to stop state consumer fraud laws from limiting their ability to label and market lab-grown, insect or plant-based foods. (Read those blog entries here; here; here; and here). But, the bigger stakes (steaks?) regarding meat labeling are set to occur at the federal level during the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)’s rulemaking. Continue reading “Animal Rights Groups Don’t Want FSIS to Mandate Identification of Lab-Grown Meat Production Process on Product Labels”
By John M. Simpson and Michelle C. Pardo.
In the past several days, the internet has been aflutter with reports that a U.S. court had declared infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar’s hippopotamuses to be “people.” Continue reading “Hippos Are Legally People? Actually, Not So Much”
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”
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”
In the upcoming November 2021 election, voters in Maine will be presented with an amendment to the state constitution that would establish a right to food. The measure was approved for referendum by the Maine Legislature on July 2, 2021. Continue reading “Maine Voters to Consider Adopting Constitutional Right to Food”
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”
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”
On June 21, 2021, the Supreme Court of Colorado issued a decision reversing the actions of the Colorado Title Board that had approved the wording of a controversial ballot initiative backed by animal rights activists. In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title and Submission Clause for 2021-2022 #16, No. 2021 CO 55 (Colo. June 21, 2021). The Board was ordered to strike the titles and return the initiative to its proponents. Continue reading “Colorado Supreme Court Nixes Anti-Farm Ballot Initiative”
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”
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”