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April/May News

  Washington becomes 12th state to enact law that bans animal testing for cosmetic products. In March, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed H.B. 1097 into law. This law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2025, makes it unlawful for a manufacturer to sell or offer for sale in this state a cosmetic if the cosmetic was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing that was conducted or contracted for by the manufacturer or any supplier of the manufacturer. Washington joins eleven other states with such legislation including California, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Virginia (see the Map of State Laws). According to the Humane Society of the United States, about 45 other countries ban this type of animal testing. Unfortunately, current U.S. federal animal protection laws like the Animal Welfare Act exclude species most often used in cosmetic testing. Check out the Topic Introduction to learn more.

   New Hampshire considers ban on for-profit breeding of brachycephalic dogs. Brachycephalic dogs fall under some 24 registered breeds that have flat faces, wide skulls, and disproportionately longer lower jaws. These include two of the most popularly bred dogs, the Bulldog and French Bulldog, but also Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, Dogue de Bordeaux, Japanese Chin, Lhasa Apso, Brasileiro, and Pekingese. Brachycephalic breeds are at increased risk for numerous morbidities due to their inability to breathe normally. These dogs may develop brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) because of their shortened noses and skulls. New Hampshire HB 1102 adds a new section to RSA 644:8, the state’s primary anti-cruelty law, making it a crime for anyone who “[s]ells an animal that has a birth deformity that causes suffering, such as brachycephaly, or the intentional breeding with the intent to sell, 2 individual animals with the same birth deformity that causes suffering, such as brachycephaly.” The bill will be introduced January 3, 2024, and referred to the Environment and Agriculture committee.

   New Jersey enacts law to end cruel confinement of veal calves and pregnant pigs. On July 26th, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed A1970/S1298 into law. The bill prohibits the confinement of breeding pigs and calves raised for veal in a manner that unduly restricts movement or provides inadequate space. Violation of the bill’s prohibitions constitutes a disorderly persons offense and would also be a civil violation of the animal cruelty laws subject to a civil penalty of not less than $250 or more than $1,000. A gestation crate is a metal cage so small that a mother pig is unable to turn around or move freely for virtually her entire life. Veal crates are small, individual cages used to confine newborn calves prior to slaughter preventing almost any natural behavior and social interaction. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), the bill's enactment reflects a 13-year campaign to lessen animal suffering and protect consumers from zoonotic disease potential linked to extreme confinement of farm animals.

News archives


Court orders specific performance as remedy in custody dispute over dog. Lyman v. Lanser, --- N.E.3d ----, 2024 WL 970217 (Mass. App. Ct. Mar. 7, 2024). The parties purchased a dog together while they were still a couple, and agreed to share the dog if they broke up. After the relationship eventually ended, the couple shared the dog on a two week alternating basis. Eventually, one party maintained custody of the dog and denied the other party access to the dog, so plaintiff filed this action for conversion and breach of contract, seeking specific performance of the custody agreement for the dog. The court here found that the dog is jointly owned property, the lack of a written contract does not bar the plaintiff from specific performance, and that the judge's order of specific performance was a suitable remedy since monetary damages would not allow plaintiff access to his shared property. Therefore, the court reversed the order vacating the preliminary injunction and denied the defendant's petition for relief from the preliminary injunction.

Appeals court reverses finding of "constructive delay" in case involving keeping of chickens as assistance animals. Lab. Comm'n, Antidiscrimination & Lab. Div. v. FCS Cmty. Mgmt., --- P.3d ----, 2024 WL 1203693, 2024 UT App 39. This is an appeal of a complaint filed by the Utah Anti-discrimination and Labor Division (ULAD) seeking review of the determination that an HOA violated members' request for reasonable accommodation by denying homeowner's the ability to keep chickens on their property. The chickens were intended to be assistance animals for the homeowner's daughter, who has anxiety and PTSD. The district court found that the HOA constructively denied the homeowner's request for reasonable accommodation by delaying their response to the request for three months. This court reversed the decision of the lower court, finding that there was no constructive denial of the request since the HOA allowed the homeowners to keep the chickens during the interim period, did not punish them for keeping the chickens, and ultimately granted the request to keep the chickens.

Plant-based meat alternative producer's motion for summary judgment denied after court finds state law involves no suppression of commercial speech and no discriminatory effect under Dormant Commerce Clause. Turtle Island Foods, SPC v. Thompson, --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2024 WL 1342597 (W.D. Mo. Mar. 26, 2024). Plaintiffs, a nonprofit advocacy organization and a plant-based meat alternative producer, filed this case to challenge the constitutionality of a statute that criminalizes the misrepresentation of a product as meat that is not derived from livestock or poultry. Plaintiffs bring four constitutional claims against the statute. For the First Amendment violation, plaintiffs specifically argue that the statute is an unlawful restriction on truthful commercial speech. However, the court finds that the statute does not restrict truthful commercial speech, since plaintiffs are still able to accurately indicate what sort of products they are selling to consumers. For the Dormant Commerce Clause argument, the court finds that the statute does not discriminate in purpose or effect, and that the statute passes the Pike balancing test. For the Due Process claim, the court finds that the statute provides sufficiently specific guidance to both the public and prosecutors as to what actions are prohibited, so it does not violate Due Process. Accordingly, the court denied plaintiff's claims and motion for summary judgment.

Case Archives


Examining the Veterinary Client-Patient Relationship in the United States: Why the Abolition of the In-Person Examination Requirement is Warranted, Jeffrey P. Feldmann, 56 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 91 (2023).

Derechos de los animales en Colombia: una lectura crítica en perspectiva ambiental, Carlos Lozano, State Law Magazine, 54 (Nov. 2022), 345–380.

Forgotten Victims of War: Animals and the International Law of Armed Conflict, Saba Pipia, 28 Animal L. 175 (2022).

From Factory Farming to A Sustainable Food System: A Legislative Approach, Michelle Johnson-Weider, 32 Geo. Envtl. L. Rev. 685 (2020).

When Fido is Family: How Landlord-Imposed Pet Bans Restrict Access to Housing, Kate O'Reilly-Jones, 52 Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs. 427 (Spring, 2019).