Cattle: Related Cases

Case name Citationsort descending Summary
Hastings v. Sauve 989 N.E.2d 940 (N.Y., 2013)

After plaintiff motorist was injured after hitting a cow that had wandered onto the highway, she sued farm owner, operator of cattle-shipping business, and operator's assistant, alleging that defendants were negligent in not properly confining cow to its pasture. There was no evidence that cow had a vicious or abnormal propensity, or that cow's owner knew of propensity, as required to support a strict liability claim. However, on appeal to the Court of Appeals, the court held that a landowner or the owner of an animal may be liable under ordinary tort-law principles when a farm animal is negligently allowed to stray from the property on which the animal is kept.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Western Australia Inc v Hammarquist (2003) 138 A Crim R 329

The respondents were charged with nine counts of inflicting unnecessary suffering on an animal, a cow, and one count of of subjecting 50 cows to unnecessary suffering. The trial judge found the respondents wrongly charged and dismissed the charges without the prosecution clearly articulating its case. The trial judge was incorrect to dismiss the charges for want of particulars. The trial magistrate was also incorrect to dismiss the tenth charge for duplicity. In some circumstances it is possible to include multiple offences in the same charge where the matters of complaint are substantially the same.

Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Reynolds --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2018 WL 1151000 (S.D. Iowa Feb. 27, 2018) In 2012, Iowa passed a statute (Iowa code § 717A.3A) that criminalized gaining access to agricultural facilities under false pretenses and making a false representation on a job application for those facilities. Plaintiffs in this case (animal rights groups including the Animal Legal Defense Fund and PETA) brought suit alleging that the statute was unconstitutional and sought to enjoin the Defendants (governor of Iowa) from enforcing it. Their complaint alleged that the statute violates the First Amendment as discrimination on the basis of content, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by targeting animals rights groups, and violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by burdening the freedom of speech. This case decides the Defendants’ motion to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ complaint based on lack of standing and failure to state a claim because the outlawed conduct is not protected by the First Amendment as false statements and is rationally related to the legitimate government interest of protecting private property, thereby not violating the Fourteenth Amendment. The court denies Defendants' motion with respect to the First Amendment, concluding that Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged the intent to suppress their message because of their viewpoint. However, the court grants the motion to dismiss for the claim of a Fourteenth Amendment violation because the statute in fact serves a legitimate government purpose in protecting private property.
People v. Harris --- P.3d ---- 2016 WL 6518566 (Colo.App.,2016) Harris was convicted for twenty-two counts of cruelty to animals after dozens of malnourished animals were found on her property by employees of the Humane Society. On appeal, Harris raised two main issues: (1) that the animal protection agent who was an employee of the Humane Society was not authorized to obtain a search warrant to investigate her property and (2) that the mistreatment of the twenty-two animals constituted one continuous course of conduct and that the lower court violated her rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause by entering a judgment on twenty-two counts of animal cruelty. The Court of Appeals reviewed the issue of whether the animal protection agent had the authority to obtain a search warrant to investigate the property and determined that the agent did not have the proper authority. The Court looked to the state statute that specifically stated that only “state employees” were able to investigate livestock cases. In this case, the animal protection agent was employed by the Humane Society and was not a state employee; therefore, he did not have the authority to obtain a search warrant to investigate the property. However, the Court found that there was no constitutional violation with regard to the search warrant because it was still obtained based on probable cause. For this reason, the Court denied Harris’ request to suppress evidence that was submitted as a result of the search warrant. Finally, the Court reviewed Harris’ argument regarding her rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause. The Court found that under the statute dealing with animal cruelty, the phrases “any animal” and “an animal” suggests that a person commits a separate offense for each animal that is mistreated. Essentially, the Court held that the language of the statute “demonstrates that the legislature perceived animal cruelty not as an offense against property but as an offense against the individual animal.” As a result, Harris’ rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause were not violated and the Court upheld the lower court’s decision.
Westfall v. State 10 S.W.3d 85 (Tex. App. 1999)

Defendant convicted of cruelty for intentionally or knowingly torturing his cattle by failing to provide necessary food or care, causing them to die. Defendant lacked standing to challenge warrantless search of property because he had no expectation of privacy under open fields doctrine.

Supreme Beef Processors, Inc. v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture 113 F.Supp.2d 1048 (N.D.Tex.,2000)

North Federal District Court of Texas ruled that the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) only empowered the Food Safety and Inspection Services to prevent the United States Department of Agriculture from allowing companies to sell adulterated meat to the public. To find meat adulterated under FMIA requires that the processor's plants conditions are insanitary, thus the FSIS should focus on the manufacturing process and not the final product to determine that a plant is insanitary.

People v. Sanchez 114 Cal. Rptr. 2d 437 (Cal. App. 2001)

Defendant on appeal challenges six counts of animal cruelty. The court affirmed five counts which were based on a continuing course of conduct and reversed one count that was based upon evidence of two discrete criminal events.

Thomas v. Stenberg 142 Cal.Rptr.3d 24 (Cal.App. 1 Dist.)

While driving his motorcycle down a private road that had easement access, the plaintiff was injured by a charging cow. Arguing the defendant had a duty to warn of the presence of an unconfined and inherently dangerous animal, the plaintiff brought a negligence and a premise liability suit against the defendant. Upon appeal, the court held that the plaintiff had failed to prove that the defendant was negligent and that the defendant was strictly liable for the cow's actions; the court, therefore, ruled in favor of the defendant.

Moreland v. Adams 152 P.3d 558 (Idaho, 2007)

A motorcyclist died when he ran into a calf on the road. His family sued for wrongful death. The court held that the owner of the calf was not liable because of open range immunity.

Thacker ex rel. Thacker v. Kroger Co. 155 Fed.Appx. 946 (C.A.8 (Mo.),2005)

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed district court decision that Thacker family failed to link an injury to ground beef on which the USDA requested a recall.

Brookover v. Roberts Enterprises, Inc. 156 P.3d 1157 (Ariz.App. Div. 1,2007)

Plaintiffs-appellants Brookovers appeal the trial court's decision granting summary judgment to defendant-appellee Roberts Enterprises, Inc.. The Brookovers claimed that Roberts was negligent in allowing its cow to enter the highway where it collided with the Brookovers' automobile. They contend that they presented evidence that defendants were aware of the risk of significant numbers of collisions between cattle and automobiles when cows were allowed to graze in the vicinity of a paved highway. Here, however, the court stated that the record indicates that the accident involving the Brookovers was the first reported cattle-automobile accident to occur on the Salome Highway through the Clem Allotment since Roberts began to lease the premises. Further, the court affirmed the trial court's ruling on the inapplicability of res ipsa loquitur based on the Brookovers' inability to establish that the accident is of a type that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence.

People v. Olary 160 N.W.2d 348 (Mich. 1968)

Defendant argued that there was not sufficient evidence to sustain his conviction of cruelty to animals.  Specifically, he pointed out that there was no direct testimony with regard to the cause of the injuries to his cows.  The court disagreed and held that inattention to the condition of the animals was sufficient to constitute the offense of cruelty to animals. 

People v. Olary (On Appeal) 170 N.W.2d 842 (Mich. 1969)

Defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of cruelty to animals.  Specifically, defendant argued that the Court of Appeals erroneously upheld the conviction because of his inattention to the condition of the cows and failure to provide medical treatment, when such action or failure to act was not punishable under the anti-cruelty statute.  The Supreme Court held that the evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction of cruelty to animals because as a farmer, defendant could have realized that his conduct was cruel. 

Mack v. State of Texas (unpublished) 2003 WL 23015101 (Not Reported in S.W.3d)

The Texas Appeals Court affirmed the trial court's decision that failure to adequately provide for cattle such that they suffered from malnourishment constituted animal cruelty offense under Texas law. The court found that the evidence was legally sufficient to establish that malnourished cow was one of the many domesticated living creatures on defendant's ranch, and was therefore an “animal” under the state law.

State v. Hatlewick 2005 WL 1634309 (N.D., 2005)

A man was charged with failing to maintain a proper fence to contain his cattle.  Despite the man's efforts to fix the fence when notified his cattle had gone through it, the trial court found the man guilty on three counts of willfully permitting livestock to run at large.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's conviction.

Browning v. State 2007 WL 1805918 (Ind.App.)

The Brownings were each charged with 32 counts of animal cruelty and convicted of five counts for their failure to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary care to their horses and cattle.  As a result, Cass County seized and boarded several of their animals at a significant cost to the county.  Although only five of those horses and cattle were ultimately deemed to be the subject of the defendants' cruelty, the appellate court affirmed the order requiring the Brownings to reimburse the county for boarding and caring for the horses and cattle during the proceedings totaling approximately $14,000 in fines and costs.

Ventana Wilderness Alliance v. Bradford 2007 WL 1848042 (N.D.Cal.,2007)

Court upheld United States Forest Service's decision to allow cattle grazing on land designated as "wilderness" because grazing had been established on the land and because the federal agency had taken the necessary "hard look" at the environmental consequences caused by grazing.

Campbell v. Supervalu 2007 WL 891682 (N.D.Ind.) North District Court of Indiana dismissed a claim that Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) preempted the plaintiff's state law claims. While a past court decision held that FMIA preempted state attempts to regulate meat inspection, this case was distinguishable because the suit focused on an alleged act of negligence that fell outside inspection of meat and because the state is not placing additional or different requirements then those set by FMIA.
Western Watersheds Project v. Dyer 2009 WL 484438 (D.Idaho)

The plaintiff, Western Watersheds Project (WWP), is an environmental group that brought this lawsuit to ban livestock grazing in certain areas of the Jarbidge Field Office (1.4 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho and northern Nevada). WWP alleges that continued grazing destroys what little habitat remains for imperiled species like the sage grouse, pygmy rabbit, and slickspot peppergrass (deemed “sensitive species” by the BLM).  After ten days of evidentiary hearings, the court found that three sensitive species in the JFO are in serious decline and that livestock grazing is an important factor in that decline. However, the court found that a ban on grazing was not required by law at this point since the Court was "confident" in the BLM's ability to modify the 2009 season in accordance with the Court's interpretation of the existing RMP.

Texas Beef Group v. Winfrey 201 F.3d 680 (C.A.5 (Tex.),2000)
Cattle ranchers in Texas sued the  The Oprah Winfrey Show and one of its guests for knowingly and falsely depicting American beef as unsafe in the wake of the British panic over “Mad Cow Disease.” The matter was removed from state court to federal court. The federal district court granted summary judgment as a matter of law on all claims presented except the business disparagement cause of action, which was eventually rejected by a jury. The court alternately held that no knowingly false statements were made by the appellees. This court affirmed on this latter ground only, finding that the guest's statement and the producers' editing of the show did not violate the Texas False Disparagement of Perishable Food Products Act. 
Allendorf v. Redfearn 2011 IL App (2d) 110130 (2011)

After a farm employee was injured in an all terrain vehicle (ATV) while trying to round up a bull, he sued the farm owners under the Domestic Animals Running at Large Act. The Appellate Court held that the employee could not recover under the Act, which protects members of the general public who cannot be expected to appreciate the risk posed by an animal. Because the employee was not an innocent bystander but rather was attempting to exercise control over the bull at the time he was injured, he fell within the Act's definition of an “owner” of the bull.

Brockett v. Abbe 206 A.2d 447 (Conn.Cir.A.D. 1964)

Defendant-farmer filed a counterclaim for damages for the erroneous determination by the veterinarian that certain cow was not pregnant (plaintiff veterinarian used a "punch test" - where a fist is struck against the abdomen of a cow to determine pregnancy rather than the industry-standard rectal examination). As a result, defendant-farmer sold the cow for $170 versus the $550 he could have received for a pregnant cow.  The Court found that it was erroneous for the circuit court to apply the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor, as diagnoses and scientific treatment are improper subjects for the doctrine. The mere proof that the diagnosis later on turned out to be erroneous is insufficient to support a judgment, the court stated.

Cotton v. Ben Hill County 208 F. Supp. 3d 1353 (M.D. Ga. 2016) In this case, Cotton filed suit against Ben Hill County after Cotton’s cattle was seized for alleged animal cruelty and roaming at large. Cotton filed suit against Ben Hill County and the Sheriff’s Department arguing that he had been deprived of his property in violation of the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and in the violation of the Constitution of Georgia. The court reviewed the issue and granted summary judgment in favor of Ben Hill County and the Sheriff's Department. The court granted summary judgment because Cotton was unable to establish that his rights were violated under the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Cotton was unable to establish that his Due Process rights were violated because he was unable to provide any evidence that the allegations against Ben Hill County and the Sheriff’s Department were “the result of an official policy, custom or practice of the county or that the County acted with deliberate indifference to these rights.” Also, the court found that there was not a violation of the procedural requirements of the Due Process Clause because under state law, Georgia provided for a “post deprivation remedy for the loss.” Lastly, the court found that Cotton’s claims against the Sheriff's Department failed as a matter of law because Cotton was unable to establish that anyone from the Sheriff’s Department actually participated in the seizure and impoundment of the cattle. For those reasons, the court held in favor of Ben Hill County and granted summary judgment.
Idaho Dairymen's Ass'n, Inc. v. Gooding County 227 P.3d 907 (Idaho 2010)

After Gooding County adopted an ordinance regulating confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), cattle ranching and dairy associations brought suit challenging the constitutionality and validity of provisions within the ordinance and seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.  The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the county, and the associations appealed.  The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed the district court's findings. 

Boulahanis v. Prevo's Family Market, Inc. 230 Mich.App. 131 (1998) Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed that the Federal Meat Inspection Act prevents states from adding or modifying federal requirements on meat producers. Claims that purchased meat products are adulterated must be based on federal standards, not Michigan standards. The United States Department of Agriculture elected not to address E. coli contamination, thus Michigan may not impose liability on manufacturers for not addressing possible E. coli contamination.
Smithfield Foods, Inc. v. Miller 241 F.Supp.2d 978 (S.D.Iowa,2003)

The Court struck down an Iowa law that banned certain producers from owning or controlling livestock in Iowa based on the Dormant Commerce Clause.

Wrinkle v. Norman 242 P.3d 1216 (Kan. App., 2010)

Wrinkle filed a negligence action against his neighbors (the Normans) after he sustained injuries on thier property. The injuries stemmed from an incident where Wrinkle was trying to herd cattle he thought belonged to the Normans back into a pen on the Normans' property. The lower court granted the Normans' motion for summary judgment. On appeal, this court found that the question comes down to Wrinkle's status (invitee, licensee, or trespasser) to determine the duty owed by the Normans. This Court found that the district court properly determined that Wrinkle was a trespasser. Finally, the court addressed the K.S.A. 47-123 claim as to whether the Normans are liable for their cattle running at large. The court found that Wrinkle could not meet the burden under the statute.

Sutton v. Sutton 243 S.E.2d 310 (Ga.App. 1978) Plaintiff brought an action in tort against his father for injuries incurred in attempting to help his father and younger brother recapture an escaped bull. The defendant appeals from judgment for the plaintiff.
Oestrike v. Neifert 255 N.W. 226 (Mich. 1934)

In this case, defendant Neifert rented land to graze cattle.  Plaintiff owned billboards in the pasture that were often painted with lead-based paint.  Defendant's cattle ate the lead-contaminated paint left in the pails and the ground and subsequently died from poisoning.  The Court upheld the award of damages to defendant-Neifert on a negligence theory because plaintiffs should have reasonably known that the cattle would ingest the paint left in the pails and on the field. 

Supreme Beef Processors, Inc. v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture 275 F.3d 432 (C.A.5 (Tex.),2001)

The Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision that the Federal Meat Inspection Act focuses on the processes used by a manufacturer and not the product itself, and that the presence of Salmonella bacteria in the meat does not necessarily make a product "adulterated" because the act of the cooking meat normally destroys the bacteria.

Dufer v. Cully 3 Or. 377 (1871)

This case involved a plaintiff who sued for damages when a bull strayed into, or broke into the plaintiff's enclosures, and the plaintiff, with two other men, went to drive the bull away.  The court held that the owner of a domestic animal is not generally liable for injuries resulting from the vicious disposition of the animal, unless he is chargeable with notice.

People v. Preston 300 N.W. 853 (Mich. 1941)

Defendant was convicted of wilfully and maliciously killing three cows.  The issue considered on review was: "Are the circumstances and testimony here, aliunde the confession of the respondent, sufficient to create such a probability that the death of the cattle in question was intentionally caused by human intervention and to justify the admission in evidence of the alleged confession of the respondent?"  The court held that the evidence was sufficient to sustain the conviction.

Citizens for Balanced Use v. Maurier 303 P.3d 794 (Mont. 2013)

Upon the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks’s decision to relocate a brucellosis-free herd of bison out of Yellowstone National Park and into tribal lands, plaintiffs sought an injunction to halt this movement until the department complied with MCA § 87-1-216.  The District Court granted the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction.  Upon appeal by defendants and defendant intervenors, however, the Supreme Court of Montana held that MCA § 87-1-216 did not apply and that the District Court relied on erroneous grounds for issuing a preliminary injunction under MCA § 27-19-201(2). The case was therefore reversed, the preliminary injunction vacated and the case was remanded back to the District Court.

King v. Karpe 338 P.2d 979 (Ca.,1959)

Plaintiff sued for damages after a cow was sent to slaughter after a veterinarian had determined that she was incapable of breeding. The court recognized “peculiar value” of the cow where there was evidence that she was slaughtered before she had completed a course of treatment meant to restore her to brood status, that she could have produced for another five or six years, that the three bull calves she had produced were outstanding, that defendant took a half interest in them as the breeding fee and exhibited them at shows, that the cow's blood line produced calves particularly valuable for inbreeding, that plaintiff needed this type of stock to build up her herd, and that defendant had knowledge of these facts. The value of the bull to which the cow had been bred was also material to the cow’s actual value.

Molinari v. Tuskegee University 339 F. Supp. 2d. 1293 (N.D. Ala. 2004)

A veterinary student was kicked by a cow while trying to perform a medical procedure.  The student brought a personal injury lawsuit against the professor and university for negligently allowing the university-owned cow to kick her and not providing timely medical treatment.  Defendants' motion for summary judgment was granted in part and denied in part.

Shively v. Dye Creek Cattle Co. 35 Cal.Rptr.2d 238 (Cal.App.3.Dist.)

This California case concerned a personal injury action arising from a collision between the plaintiff's car and defendant's black Angus bull, which was lying on the highway at night. The trial court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment. In reversing this decision, the Court of Appeal held that the open range law does not itself define the duty owners of cattle owe nor does it exempt them from the duty of ordinary care.

State v. Morison 365 P.2d 266 (Colo.1961)

Cattle owners sued the state and its agricultural commission for negligently performing the duty to use proper steps to prevent the spread of a contagious disease after they bought dairy cows at a sale that subsequently infected their herd. The owners were forced to sell their herd of dairy cows. The Supreme Court held that the owners could recover the difference between fair market value of their herd before and after it contracted the disease, loss of profits due to diminished milk production from cows before sale, value of silage or feed that had been contaminated, and reasonable costs of disinfecting the farm, but not for loss of profits for the dairy operation after they sold the cows, or loss of progeny.

Forest Guardians v. Veneman 392 F.Supp.2d 1082 (D.Ariz.,2005)

District Court held that United States Forest Service could issue permits that allow cattle on lands near waterways where spikedace and loach minnows live, both species are listed as "threatened" species, even though this grazing could delay their recovery.

Nebraska Beef, Ltd. v. United States Department of Agriculture 398 F.3d 1080 (8th Cir. 2005)

Eight Circuit Court of Appeals decided not to allow Nebraska Beef to pursue a Bivens remedy --remedy allows a party to recover damages when federal officials violate a person's constitutional rights when Congress has not provided an adequate remedy-- after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) allegedly breached a mutual consent decision agreed upon after the USDA issued Noncompliance Records for perceived regulatory violations.

Snyder v. Bio-Lab, Inc. 405 N.Y.S.2d 596 (N.Y.Sup.,1978)

Plaintiffs sought damages after having to slaughter dairy cows that were injured by defendant’s defective machine. The Court held that plaintiffs could recover 1) the fair market value less salvage value of the cows, 2) the loss of profit during the period after the incident when cows of comparable quality became available on the market, and 3) the calculable loss in milk production caused by the incident's negative impact on the milk production level of the remaining cows.

Ranchers Cattleman Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture 415 F.3d 1078 (9th Cir. 2005)

The court was presented with the question of whether the district court erred in issuing a preliminary injunction prohibiting the implementation of a regulation of the United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA") permitting the resumption of the importation of Canadian cattle into the United States.  The court concluded that it did and therefore reversed the district court. 

Stanko v. Maher 419 F.3d 1107 (10th Cir. 2005) A livestock owner and drover sued the Wyoming state brand inspector, alleging that inspector violated his state and federal constitutional rights in making warrantless seizure of five head of livestock, and that inspector abused his office in violation of state constitution. Plaintiff Rudy Stanko, proceeding pro se, appealed from the district court's order granting summary judgment to defendant Jim Maher.  The appellate court affirmed the entry of summary judgment in favor of Mr. Maher, holding that the warrantless search of cattle did not violate Fourth Amendment and the inspector did not violate the Fourth Amendment by making warrantless seizure of cattle as estrays.  Further, the procedure provided under Wyoming brand inspection statutes prior to seizure of cattle deemed to be estrays satisfied due process requirements.
Taft v. Taft 433 S.E.2d 667 (Ga.App.,1993)
In this Georgia case, an adult son, who was business invitee, brought an action against his father to recover for injuries sustained when he was attacked by his father's bull while attempting to corral it for market. The lower court entered judgment for son, and father then appealed. The Court of Appeals, held that it for the jury to determine questions as to proximate cause, viciousness of bull, assumption of risk, superior or equal knowledge, contributory negligence, and negligence of the plaintiff. The failure of the trial court to charge adequately on proximate cause required a reversal, notwithstanding appellant's lack of a timely and proper request for a specific proximate cause charge. Judgment reversed.
Farnham v. Meder 45 A.D.3d 1315 (N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept., 2007)

In this New York case, the plaintiff commenced this negligence action seeking damages for injuries sustained when defendants' bull knocked him to the ground while plaintiff was chasing the bull from his own property. Defendants moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint on the ground that plaintiff's activities in chasing the bull constituted primary assumption of the risk. This court concluded that Supreme Court properly denied defendants' motion. The record established that plaintiff was fully familiar with defendants' bull and had in fact chased the bull from plaintiffs' property on prior occasions. At no time had the bull ever acted aggressively toward plaintiff, and thus plaintiff had no reason to assume that the bull would do so on this particular occasion.

Kintner v. Claverack Rural Elec. Co-op., Inc. 478 A.2d 858 (Pa.1983)

A dairy farmer sued electric utility for trespass and damages after 14 cows were electrocuted by downed power lines. The Superior Court held that the dairy farmer was not entitled to loss-of-use damages because he chose to replace the electrocuted cows by raising others from his herd rather than by immediately buying mature milk-producing cows.

Spencer Creek Pollution Control Ass'n v. Organic Fertilizer Co. 505 P.2d 919 (1973)

This is a nuisance case involving the operation of a cattle feed lot.  Plaintiff sued to enjoin feed lot operators from interfering with use and enjoyment of plaintiffs' property asked for damages. The circuit court rendered judgment and defendant appealed. The Supreme Court held that decree limiting defendants to having no more than 600 head of cattle on its feed lot at one time was reasonable.

Creekstone Farms Premium Beef v. United States Department of Agriculture 517 F.Supp.2d 8 (D.D.C.,2007) Creekstone Farms Premium Beef (Creekstone) sought to independently test their slaughtered cows so they could more safely provide meat to consumers. Creekstone requested testing kits from the USDA, the same kits that USDA inspectors use to test for BSE. The district court ruled that Creekstone could perform the tests.
Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, L.L.C. v. Department of Agriculture 539 F.3d 492 (D.C.Cir., 2008) Plaintiff, a supplier of beef products, brought an action against Defendant, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), after the USDA denied Plaintiff’s request to purchase Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) testing kits.   The United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit found that the USDA has authority under the Virus Serum Toxin Act (VSTA) to regulate the use of biological products, the USDA’s interpretation of VSTA allowing the USDA to deny an import permit based on the product’s intended use was not inconsistent with the regulation and was therefore entitled to deference by the Court, the USDA’s interpretation of the word “treatment” as including diagnostic activities was entitled to deference, and that   BSE testing is a diagnostic activity for purposes of VSTA.
Greives v. Greenwood 550 N.E.2d 334 (Ind.App. 4 Dist.,1990)

Cattle breeders sued veterinarian who negligently vaccinated two cows leading to slaughter of one and quarantine of the herd was quarantined. The Court of Appeals held that breeders: (1) could not recover lost profits from unborn and future unborn calves; (2) could not recover damages for injury to business reputation; (3) could not recover for default in payment of financial obligations or collection procedures brought against them; (4) were properly allowed to present evidence as to the loss of net profits as result of cancellation of spring production sale and subsequent delay in selling animals; and (5) interest expense was not a variable cost for purposes of action.

Molenaar v. United Cattle Co. 553 N.W.2d 424 (Minn.App., 1996)

Plaintiff livestock owner sued defendant livestock owner for conversion after defendant knowingly took both its heifers and plaintiff's heifers from a livestock holding facility that defendant was suing for breach of contract. The District Court entered judgment after a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff but granted judgment notwithstanding verdict (JNOV) to defendant on punitive damages. The Court of Appeals held that punitive damages could be awarded even though defendant did not suffer personal injury and the evidence was sufficient to find defendant liable for conversion.  This case established that a litigant may recover punitive damages for conversion of property if the conversion is in deliberate disregard of the rights or safety of others.

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