United States

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Titlesort ascending Summary
Animal Legal Def. Fund v. Otter The Animal Legal Defense Fund, and various other organizations and individuals, challenge Idaho Code § 18–7042 as unconstitutional. Section 18-7042 criminalizes undercover investigations of agricultural production facilities. ALDF alleges that § 18–7042 has both the purpose and effect of stifling public debate about modern agriculture and raises two substantive constitutional challenges against the State: (1) violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment; and (2) violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court first found that § 18–7042 is both content and viewpoint based, and thus, must survive the highest level of scrutiny. The Court held that the law does not survive strict scrutiny because it "would contravene strong First Amendment values to say the State has a compelling interest in affording these heavily regulated facilities extra protection from public scrutiny." Even if the interests in property and privacy of these industries is compelling, the law is not narrowly tailored as it restricts more speech than necessary and poses a "particularly serious threat to whistleblowers' free speech rights." Finally, the Court found that the law also violated the Equal Protection clause because the law was spurred by an improper animus toward animal welfare groups, furthers no legitimate or rational purpose, and classifies activities protected by the First Amendment based on content. ALDF's motion for summary judgment was granted.
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Animal Law Amendments and Significant Cases
Animal Industry Interference (Ecoterrorism/Agroterrorism)
Animal Hospital of Elmont, Inc. v. Gianfrancisco


In this New York case, defendant presented his puppy to plaintiff-animal hospital for treatment. After discussions between about the cost of the care, defendant apparently felt that he would not be allowed to retrieve the puppy from the hospital's possession. As a consequence, plaintiff sent a letter to defendant describing the balance owed, and stating that the hospital would retain the puppy for 10 more days after which it would "take care of the dog in accordance with the legal methods available to dispose of abandoned dogs." The issue on appeal is whether this letter qualified as noticed required by the Agriculture and Markets Act, Sec. 331. The court found that it did not comply with the statutory requirements and thus, plaintiff was responsible for defendant's loss of his puppy valued at $200 at trial. Plaintiff was entitled to a judgment on its complaint for the costs of care amounting to $309.

Animal Euthanasia
Animal Ethics and the Law Concerned with the lack of legal protection for farm animals in the United States, Bernard Rollin argues for the enfranchisment of farm animals. In this article, Rollin also identifies five factors that have called forth new ethics and new laws regarding animals.
ANIMAL CONSORTIUM This article will show that sufficient relational interest can exist between a human and companion animal and that this interest is widely accepted in our culture; therefore, financial recovery for the disruption of this relationship is a fair burden to place upon actors in today's world. This proposal does not seek to give any legal rights to companion animals; instead, this is a proposal to allow the law to acknowledge the depth and reality of the bond between humans and animals that exists in millions of families across the country. First, this article sets out the existing categories of damage for recovery when a defendant's tortious actions result in the death of a companion animal. Integral to this discussion is the reality that companion animals are considered property. Courts most often are unwilling to extend financial recovery to include the emotional loss of the owner of an animal. Second, this article will examine the history of the concept of consortium to show how the legal system has come to accept that the compensable harm is not limited to economic consequences, nor is it limited to husband and wife relationships. Third, this article will present information to support the position that companion animals are emotionally and psychologically important to the human members of many families. Fourth, this article will show that animals have already jumped out of the property box in a number of fact patterns, and therefore, it is appropriate to raise their status in this context as well. Fifth, this article will consider the application of the concept of animal consortium in detail as an extension of the common law cause of action. Finally, acknowledging some of the difficulties that courts may have in implementing this proposal, a legislative draft is proposed to accomplish the recovery sought by this article.

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