PETA Open Records Case Takes an Interesting Turn

On February 17, 2023, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a preliminary injunction that had restrained the University of Washington from releasing records containing personal identifying information of current and former members of the University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  The records request had been submitted by animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).  The appellate panel ruled that the district court erred in determining that the IACUC members had raised a serious issue that their First Amendment right of association would be infringed by release of the records, but did not reach the other arguments raised by the IACUC members which presumably will be addressed on remand.  Sullivan v. University of Washington, No. 22-35338 (9th Cir. Feb. 17, 2023). Continue reading “PETA Open Records Case Takes an Interesting Turn”

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”

House Passes Bill Amending “Crush Video” Prohibition

by John M. Simpson.

On October 22, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 724, entitled the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act” or “PACT Act.”  The measure would retain the existing prohibition in 18 U.S.C. § 48 on the creation and distribution of “crush videos” but would also criminalize an intentional act of animal crushing.   Continue reading “House Passes Bill Amending “Crush Video” Prohibition”

Court Rejects Tofurky’s Request for Preliminary Injunction to Halt Enforcement of Missouri’s Meat Advertising Law

By Michelle C. Pardo

We previously blogged about the case of Turtle Island Foods, et al. v. Mark Richardson, 2:18-cv-04173, pending in federal court in the Western District of Missouri. Turtle Island Foods, doing business as The Tofurky Company (“Tofurky”) which produces plant-based products, together with The Good Food Institute (an organization founded in part by Bruce Friedrich, former director of PETA’s vegan campaigns), sued Missouri prosecutors over its 2018 amended meat advertising law. The law requires that in order for a product to be labeled as “meat” it must come from “any edible portion of livestock, poultry, or captive cervid carcass or part thereof.” Mo. Rev. Stat. § 265.300(7). Under the amended law, plant based products, such as Tofurky’s veggie burgers or sausage, would be deemed to be misleading unless the labels contain an appropriate qualifier such as “plant-based,” “veggie,” “lab grown,” or “lab created.” Lab-grown or cultured meat products (also referred to as “clean meat”) is a new technology in which meat is grown from in vitro animal cell culture instead of from slaughtered animals. These products have not yet debuted in the marketplace. Continue reading “Court Rejects Tofurky’s Request for Preliminary Injunction to Halt Enforcement of Missouri’s Meat Advertising Law”

The Beef Goes On: Tofurky Challenges Arkansas Meat Labeling Law

by Michelle C. Pardo

Tofurky goes to court – again. On July 22nd, Turtle Island Foods (doing business as The Tofurky Company) filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Arkansas against the Arkansas Bureau of Standards to challenge the constitutionality of an amended Arkansas law that prohibits “purveyors of plant- or cell-based meats” from using the words “meat” and related terms like “beef,” “pork,” “roast,” and “sausage.” See Ark. Code Ann. § 2-1-305. Violations of the law, which goes into effect on July 24, 2019, may be punished by civil penalty up to $1,000. Counsel for Tofurky includes animal activist group Animal Legal Defense Fund, the ACLU Foundation, and The Good Food Institute, a Washington, DC based advocacy group (whose founder previously ran vegan campaigns for PETA). All of these organizations previously teamed up with Tofurky to challenge Missouri’s amended meat advertising law. Continue reading “The Beef Goes On: Tofurky Challenges Arkansas Meat Labeling Law”

New York Court of Appeals Tosses Kaporos Animal Cruelty Case

by John M. Simpson

On November 14, 2018, the New York Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a mandamus petition seeking to enforce certain state animal cruelty laws against the practice of Kaporos.  The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, et al. v. New York City Police Dep’t, et al., No. 126 (N.Y. Nov. 14, 2018).   The Court of Appeals ruled that the “extraordinary remedy” of mandamus was not available because “[e]nforcement of the laws cited by plaintiffs would involve some exercise of discretion …” and plaintiffs “do not seek to compel the performance of ministerial duties but, rather, seek to compel a particular outcome.”  Id., slip. op. 2, 3 (citations omitted). Continue reading “New York Court of Appeals Tosses Kaporos Animal Cruelty Case”

© 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