U.S. House of Representatives and Senate pass legislation that helps retire more research chimpanzees to federal sanctuary. The measure gives greater ability to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to retire more chimps and continue to provide care to current resident chimps. The bipartisan effort came at a time when funds set aside for the Federal Sanctuary System, Chimp Haven, were scheduled to run out. Learn more about Chimp Haven.
Federal appeals court grants temporary injunction to halt horse slaughter. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver issued a temporary injunction preventing the U.S. Department of Agriculture from inspecting plants in New Mexico and Missouri that were slated to begin slaughtering horses for human consumption. The injunction came after a federal judge in Albuquerque dismissed a lawsuit filed by the United States Humane Society and other animal protection groups seeking to stop the New Mexico plant from opening, alleging National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) violations. To learn more about the recent history surrounding horse slaughter, see our Topic Area. To follow case news submitted by plaintiffs in the case, see Front Range Equine Rescue's site.
West Virginia agencies collaborate to address problems posed by lack of state exotic animal regulations. The Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, and the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health have joined to create legislation to present to lawmakers in January 2014. The legislation would ban the private possession of certain species of animals with exceptions including circuses and licensed research facilities. Reports also indicate the measures would include the creation of a Dangerous Wild Animal Control Board, similar to Ohio's recent dangerous wild animal legislation. Notably, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin veteod a law passed in 2012 (SB 477) that would have restricted exotic animal possession. Does your state ban exotic pets? See our Map to find out.
New petition drive in Michigan threatens efforts to allow voters the ability to repeal Michigan's wolf hunting law. A group calling itself "Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management" filed the petition with the Board of State Canvassers in early December. If the group collects sufficient signatures, this citizen-initiated bill will head directly to the state legislature. Because this measure includes appropriations, it would circumvent any voter referendum on the wolf hunting issue. Members of the group "Keep Michigan Wolves Protected" previously initiated a petition drive to repeal the wolf-hunting law that spurred the Republican-led Michigan Legislature to give the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) authority to designate game species. This anti-wolf hunting group has now created a second petition-drive in response to that law. To see actual harvest numbers in the state's wolf hunt, see the DNR's page.
World Trade Organization (WTO) panel finds EU restrictions on the import of seal products are justified under free trade exception for measures "necessary to protect public morals." This may be one of the first applications of the "public morals" exception for animals. The panel addressed challenges by countries including Norway and Canada that the EU Seal Regime prohibiting the importation and marketing of most seal products unfairly favors European Communities. While the WTO did find that the EU Seal Regime was a valid exercise of the "public morals" exception to free trade, there were issues with treatment of imported versus domestic seal products. To read the WTO Dispute Settlement (DS401) see http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds401_e.htm
New in 2013! Want to know what laws were amended or added in 2012? Check out our new Table of 2012-2013 State Amendments. Looking for cases from last year? You can always find recent court cases by viewing our Archives page.
Check out the new searchable Bills/Legislation. Search for pending bills by State or by Topic in the left navigation.
Also check out the searchable Local Ordinances. Search for local codes by State or by Topic in the left navigation. Many codes are available under "Breed Specific Legislation."
New Article! An International Treaty for Animal Welfare, by Professor David Favre, 18 Animal Law 237 (2012).
New Article! Facility Dog Accompanies Adult Witness during Testimony, John Ensminger, Animal Legal & Historical Center (2012).
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Johnson v. City of Murray
, --- Fed.Appx. ----, 2013 WL 5832524 (C.A.10 (Utah,2013). After an investigation brought on by the plaintiff, an animal control supervisor was demoted from his duties. Plaintiff also provided a reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune information that later led to the resignation of the ex-animal control supervisor. Meanwhile, the city voted to outsource its animal control department to another city, which eliminated the plaintiff’s job. On appeal, the court found the plaintiff’s First Amendment rights were not violated because a severely understaffed animal control unit constituted a substantial disruption. The City's interest in promoting efficient public services therefore outweighed the plaintiff’s First Amendment interests.
Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Weber
, --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2013 WL 5844447(D.Mont.,2013). An environmental group sued the U.S. Forest Service claiming it violated the NEPA, the ESA, and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) when it permitted the implementation of the Flathead National Forest Precommercial Thinning Project. The court that the defendants' designation of matrix habitat was not arbitrary and that there was no showing of irreparable harm to lynx habitat to require the Service to be enjoined from implementing project. Likewise, plaintiffs’ claims regarding the grizzly bear’s critical habitat did not prevail; nor did the plaintiffs’ claims regarding the National Forest Management Act’s Inland Native Fish Strategy. The court, therefore, granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and denied the plaintiffs' motion.
Spangler v. Stark County Dog Warden
, --- N.E.2d ----, 2013 WL 5820277 (Ohio App. 5 Dist.,2013). The appellant appealed the decision of the Canton Municipal Court, Stark County that affirmed a dog warden's classification of his dog as "dangerous." Appellant's dog attacked another dog who was being held on leash at the end of appellant's driveway also causing an injury to the dog's owner leg in the process. While there are no cases on point, the court found the standard for appeal would be whether the judgment is manifestly against the weight of the evidence. Here, the court found the record did not reveal an abuse of discretion that would create a manifest miscarriage of justice. The statute only requires a demonstration that the dog in question "caused injury" without provocation. Appellant's dog leaving the property lead to a "chain of events resulting in some sort of puncture injury" to the other dog owner's leg.
Dog Case of the Month
Animal adoption organization not liable for personal injuries from dog bite after parties sign contract and assume care for dog. Frank v. Animal Haven, Inc.
, 107 A.D.3d 574 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept.,2013). Plaintiff was bitten by the dog that she adopted from Animal Haven, Inc. and sued that entity for personal injuries stemming from the bite. In affirming the decision to dismiss the complaint, this court noted that the adopting parties signed a contract a the time of adoption where they undertook a "lifetime commitment" for the responsible care of the dog. While the contract stipulated that Animal Haven had the right to have the dog returned if the plaintiff breached the contract, this did not reserve a right of ownership of the dog. Further, the contract also explicitly relieved Animal Haven of liability once the dog was in the possession of the adoptive parties.
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The welfare of greyhounds in Australian racing: has the industry run its course? Alexandra McEwan and Krishna Skandakumar, Australian Animal Protection Law Journal, Dec. 2011 (15 July 2013 version).
Policies to Promote Socialization and Welfare in Dog Breeding, Amy Morris, Project Submitted In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Public Policy in the School of Public Policy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (2013) [reprinted with permission].
"No Animals Were Harmed . . .”: Protecting Chimpanzees From Cruelty Behind The Curtain, Lorraine L. Fischer, 27 Hastings Comm. & Ent L.J. 405 (2005).
Protecting Equine Rescue From Being Put Out To Pasture: Whether Ranches Dedicated To Abused, Abandoned, And Aging Horses May Qualify For "Agricultural" Classifications Under Florida's Greenbelt Law, Michael T. Olexa, Katherine Smallwooda, and Joshua A. Cossey, 16 Drake J. Agric. L. 69 (2011).
Permitting Pluralism: The Seal Products Dispute And Why The WTO Should Accept Trade Restrictions Justified By Nonintsrumental Moral Values, Robert Howse and Joanna Langille, 37 Yale J. Int'l L. 367 (2012).
The Paradox of Animal Hoarding and The Limits of Canadian Criminal Law, Kathryn M. Campbell, Animal Legal & Historical Center (2012).
Hear Me Roar: Should Universities Use Live Animals As Mascots? Jessica Baranko, 21 Marq. Sports L. Rev. 599 (2011).
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