Proposed Ballot Initiative Would End Animal Protein Production and Hunting in Oregon

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”

APHIS Dusts Off Animal Handling Contingency Planning Rules

Today, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued advance notice that, on June 25, 2021, the agency will publish notice in the Federal Register of its intention to implement regulations, adopted in 2012, that require entities subject to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to have contingency plans for handling animals in the event of possible emergencies or disasters.  The rules, which had been prompted by events during the 2005 hurricane season, had been stayed by APHIS since July 31, 2013 based on claims by small entities that these regulatory requirements were excessive. Continue reading “APHIS Dusts Off Animal Handling Contingency Planning Rules”

Colorado Supreme Court Nixes Anti-Farm Ballot Initiative

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”

Activist Case Involving Chicken Farm Fails in D.C. Circuit on Standing Grounds

On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed an action brought by Food & Water Watch against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) challenging the environmental assessment made in connection with the Farm Service Agency’s guarantee of loan to a Maryland chicken farmer.  Food & Water Watch v. U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture, ___ F.3d ___, No. 20-5100 (D.C. Cir. June 22, 2021).  Plaintiff had argued that the agency’s finding of no significant impact for the guarantee violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The district court found standing to sue but rejected the plaintiff’s challenge on its merits.  On appeal, however, the D.C. Circuit ruled that the plaintiff had no Article III standing. Continue reading “Activist Case Involving Chicken Farm Fails in D.C. Circuit on Standing Grounds”

Ninth Circuit Bounces Consumer’s Claim of Misleading Poultry Product Labeling

On June 4, 2021, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative state law consumer class action claiming that chicken products marketed by Trade Joe’s were mislabeled.  Webb v. Trader Joe’s Co., ___ F.3d ___,  No. 19-56389 (9th Cir. June 4, 2021).  The labels stated that the products contained “[u]p to 5% retained water,” but plaintiff claimed that an independent laboratory test showed that the products “contained on average, 9% Retained Water.”  Slip op. at 5.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that all of plaintiff’s claims were pre-empted by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), 21 U.S.C. § 467e. Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Bounces Consumer’s Claim of Misleading Poultry Product Labeling”

D.C. Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Activist Group’s Case Against Fish & Wildlife Service

Affirming a district court decision that we reported on last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently found that the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) had no standing in a case claiming that  the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service should have utilized notice and comment procedures when it created its framework for making species status assessments under the Endangered Species Act.  Center for Biological Diversity v. Haaland, No. 20-5088 (D.C. Cir. May 25, 2021) (per curiam).  The appellate court agreed with the district court that CBD had shown no Article III “injury in fact.” Continue reading “D.C. Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Activist Group’s Case Against Fish & Wildlife Service”

Ninth Circuit Tosses Animal Rights Consumer Case For Lack Of Standing

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”

Supreme Court Addresses When a “Draft Biological Opinion” Really is a “Draft” Under the FOIA

Today, in her first published opinion on the Supreme Court, Justice Barrett delivered the majority opinion in U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv. v. Sierra Club, Inc., No. 19-547 (U.S. Mar. 4, 2021), a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case involving whether draft biological opinions of the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service were exempt from public disclosure.  The Court ruled that they were, and overturned a contrary determination by the Ninth Circuit. Continue reading “Supreme Court Addresses When a “Draft Biological Opinion” Really is a “Draft” Under the FOIA”

D.C. Circuit Ducks Constitutionality of USDA ALJ’s — For Now

A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently decided a significant case for those animal-related businesses who are subject to regulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Fleming v. U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture, No. 17-1246, 1249 & 1250 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 16, 2021). Continue reading “D.C. Circuit Ducks Constitutionality of USDA ALJ’s — For Now”