by John M. Simpson.
On June 3, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted in part and denied in part cross-motions for summary judgment in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) had brought against the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, et al. (APHIS). Humane Soc’y of the U.S. v. Animal and Plant Health Insp. Serv., et al., No. 1:18-cv-00646 (TNM) (D.D.C. June 3, 2019). HSUS’s FOIA request was for site-inspection reports and other inspection records for specific animal dealers and exhibitors who are subject to regulation by APHIS under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Continue reading HSUS Gets Mixed Result in D.C. FOIA Case
by John M. Simpson.
A study was published recently in Social Movement Studies entitled “Nobody’s paying me to cry: the causes of activist burnout in United States animal rights activists.” The authors concluded that, while many factors play a role, racist and sexist treatment of individuals within animal rights groups also contributed to what the authors described as “burnout:” “when people once deeply embedded in movements – people who intended to remain engaged – are forced to disengage due to the stress impacts of participation.” Continue reading Study Shows Racism and Sexism Contribute to Animal Activist “Burnout”
by Michelle C. Pardo
Last week, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to enact a law prohibiting the use of elephants and other wild or exotic animals in traveling animal acts. Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill authorizing the statewide ban after it received a significant margin of votes in the Legislature. The bill had passed last session but was pocket vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. Continue reading Lions and Tigers and Bears (No Way!): New Jersey Bans Exotic Animals in Traveling Shows
By John M. Simpson.
Two animal-law-related measures of note were passed during the recent mid-term elections.
Proposition 12. In California, voters approved Proposition 12 which establishes new standards for the confinement of certain farm animals. The measure sets new minimum requirements for farmers as to space for egg-laying hens and calves raised for veal (to be adopted by 2020) and for breeding pigs (to be adopted by 2022). The standards apply, not only to eggs, pork and veal produced in California but also to such products imported into the state and produced elsewhere. Continue reading Voters Approve Two Key Animal-Related Ballot Initiatives
by Michelle Pardo
Last week, a federal district court in the Northern District of California granted in part and denied in part the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a coalition of environmental and animal rights organizations which sought to challenge the USDA’s withdrawal of a rule requiring new standards for raising, transporting and slaughtering organic animals. Center for Environmental Health, et al. v. Perdue (No. 3:18-cv-01763-RS, N.D. Cal.). The plaintiffs, various organic and environmental groups, together with the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, had sued the federal government over its withdrawal of a hotly-debated and commented upon Rule that proscribed animal welfare standards for livestock and poultry. Continue reading Court Narrows Lawsuit Challenging Withdrawal of Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule