|AN INTERNATIONAL TREATY FOR ANIMAL WELFARE|
|An Argument for the Basic Legal Rights of Farmed Animals||As legal things, nonhuman animals lack all legal rights and remain entirely the object of the rights held by us legal persons—that is, the beings with rights. Most legal protections for nonhuman animals remain indirect (mostly anti-cruelty statutes), enforceable only by public prosecutors. Even the Endangered Species Act requires a human plaintiff to have standing sufficient under Article III of the United States Constitution. It has become clear that no meaningful percentage of nonhuman animals will ever be treated well or fairly until they attain some minimum degree of legal personhood—that is, until they achieve some minimum level of fundamental legal rights. In his article, Steven M. Wise argues for the fundamental rights of nonhuman animals by relying upon bedrock principles of Western law: liberty and equality.|
|Amos v. State||A jury found appellant guilty of the offense of cruelty to a nonlivestock animal after he beat a Shih Tzu to death with a broom. After finding an enhancement paragraph true, the jury assessed Appellant's punishment at thirty-one months’ confinement. Appellant asserted five issues on this appeal: (1) the admission of a State's witness's recorded statement to the police, which the court overruled because the evidence was received without objection; (2) the denial of his motion to quash the indictment for failing to allege an offense, which the court overruled because the indictment tracked the statutory language; (3) the denial of six of his challenges for cause, which the court overruled because the venire members gave the defense counsel contradictory answers meaning the trial court could not abuse its discretion in refusing to excuse a juror; (4) the denial of his objection to the charge, which the court overruled because the jury charge tracked the statute’s language; and (5) the denial of his motion to suppress the dog’s necropsy, which the court overruled because the appellant had no intention of reclaiming the dog's body or her ashes and thereby relinquished his interest in them such that he could no longer retain a reasonable expectation of privacy and lacked standing to contest the reasonableness of any search. The lower court’s decision was therefore affirmed.|
|Amons v. District of Columbia||
|Ammon v. Welty||
|American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign v. Vilsack||The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (Plaintiffs) brought this action against the United States Forest Service (Forest Service) to prevent the implementation of the new Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory Plan (WHT) that Modoc County helped develop. Plaintiffs brought six claims against defendants, all under the Administrative Procedures Act. In Counts I, II, and III, plaintiffs alleged that the boundary clarification was arbitrary and capricious because it violated the Wild Horses Act, the National Forest Management Act (NFMA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and in Counts IV, V, and VI, they claimed that the adjustment to the "appropriate management level" (AML) range was arbitrary and capricious because it was contrary to the same three statutes. Because the Forest Service reasonably concluded that the disputed territory was never formally incorporated into the Devil's Garden WHT, and that any references to one contiguous territory were the result of administrative error, the Court found that it was not arbitrary and capricious or in violation of the law for the Forest Service to act to correct the boundary in the 2013 Environmental Assessment and the 2013 Management Plan. Thus, defendants were entitled to summary judgment on Counts I, II, and III. And because the Forest Service articulated a rational basis for its decision to adjust the AML range for the Devil's Garden WHT that was not counter to record evidence or otherwise contrary to the law, the Court found that defendants were also entitled to summary judgment on Counts IV, V, and VI. Thus, plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment was denied, defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was granted, and because they sought the same relief as defendants, the intervenor-defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment was denied as moot.|
|American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign v. Perdue||
This case involves a challenge by plaintiff-wild horse preservationists under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) to a proposed management plan issued for wild horse territory (WHT) by the Forest Service (FS). Plaintiffs argue that the revision, which changed the borders by removing a middle section so that it was not a contiguous territory, was arbitrary and capricious. After the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment for the Forest Service, plaintiffs appealed. On appeal, FS contends that the unified territory was based on a cartographic error in the 1980s; in essence, FS argues that the 2013 change merely corrects an "administrative error" and returns management to the correct WHT boundary from 1975. However, this Court held that FS' decision to eliminate the middle section of the WHT was arbitrary and capricious because the plan failed to explain the change in policy. Further, FS did not adequately consider whether an Environmental Impact Statement was required under NEPA regarding this change. The Court was unconvinced by the FS's attempts to "shrug off" the inclusion of the Middle Section as an "administrative error" and stated that there is no "oops" exception for federal agencies. There were decades of data that relied on the "error" along with formal published plans that supported management activities and population studies. The court was unwilling to allow the FS to correct a past error by committing a new legal error: "[I]n administrative law, as elsewhere, two wrongs do not make a right." The court noted that FS may change its policies in the future, provided it reasonably supports those changes. Additionally, the Court found the FS' "Finding of No Significant Impact" in the environmental analysis was a "head-in-the-sand" approach that ignored real consequences of the boundary changes. Accordingly, this Court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in part and directed the district court to remand to the Service for further consideration.
|American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals, v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus||
Plaintiffs-ASPCA filed suit against Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Feld Entertainment, Inc, under the citizen-suit provision of the Endangered Species Act. Plaintiffs allege that FEI routinely beats elephants, chains them for long periods of time, hits them with sharp bull hooks, breaks baby elephants with force to make them submissive, and forcibly removes baby elephants from their mothers before they are weaned. This conduct, plaintiffs contend, violates the "take" provision of the ESA. In the court's opinion regarding defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court held that the pre-Act exemption does not insulate defendant from claims of taking under the ESA. However, the court found that the captive-bred wildlife (CBW) permit held by defendant does not allow for challenge under a citizen-suit provision.
|American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus||
|American Society For Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus||