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Animal Rights Extremism as Justification for Restricting Access to Government Records In the animal rights and animal welfare movements, activists have likewise used FOIA and state open records laws for their own ends. This section first discusses the purpose and general structure of FOIA and state open records laws, and then looks at how animal rights and animal welfare activists have used these laws in pursuing their causes.
Animal Rights Front, Inc. v. Jacques


An environmental nonprofit organization sought an injunction to prevent a housing development from being constructed.  The nonprofit organization claimed the development was in violation of the Connecticut Endangered Species Act because it would destroy the habitat of an endangered rattlesnake.  The trial court held the development was lawful and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Animal Rights Front, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Com'n of Town of Glastonbury


The plaintiff, Animal Rights Front, Inc., an environmental intervenor, appeals from a final decision of the defendant that gave subdivision and special permit approval to an application by defendant Rejean Jacques d/b/a Rejean Realty, Inc.  The basic issue of the plaintiff's appeal relates to preservation of the Eastern Timber Rattlesnake, an endangered species common to the Diamond Lake section of Glastonbury, and its migration across the development project, which would inherently lead to mortality.  On appeal, defendants questioned plaintiff's standing because they contended that rattlesnakes do not fall under the category of "natural resources."  Relying on a companion case, the court noted that endangered species are inherently deemed natural resources.  However in dismissing plaintiff's appeal, the court found that the defendant made changes that provided for the protection of the rattlesnake and the commission reasonably relied upon these assertions by the defendant to support its conclusions so it was not required to consider alternatives to the proposed development.

Animal Rights Law Reporter
Animal Testing in Commercial Products
Animal Welfare Institute v. Kreps


These appeals arise from a complaint filed in the District Court challenging a decision by the Government appellees to waive the moratorium imposed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) [FN1] so as to permit importation into the United States from South Africa of baby fur sealskins.  We reverse, holding that appellants do have standing and that the Government's decision to waive the ban on importing baby fur sealskins violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Animal Welfare Institute v. Martin



After Defendant, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (“DIFW”) adopted an emergency rule imposing limitations on the use of Conibear traps in response to a preliminary injunction issued by the Court after the death of a Canada lynx, a threatened species, Plaintiffs moved for an emergency temporary restraining order to enjoin the DIFW from allowing the use of Conibear traps for the remainder of the State’s trapping season after the death of an additional Canada lynx, caused by an illegally set Conibear trap.

 

The United States District Court, D. Maine denied Plaintiffs’ motion, finding that Plaintiffs failed to show a causal connection between the State’s licensure and regulation of the trapping and any Endangered Species Act violations resulting from the lynx’s death.

Animal Welfare Institute v. Martin


Plaintiffs in this case filed motions for a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order to halt the commencement of the early coyote and fox trapping season in the state of Maine. Plaintiffs claim that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW)Commissioner had violated the ESA by allowing trapping activities that “take” Canada lynx, a threatened species. The DIFW stated that the Court has already addressed a motion for preliminary injunction and an emergency motion for temporary restraining order, with no change to circumstances. In denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction and TRO, the Court found that Plaintiffs had not sustained their burden to justify the extraordinary remedy of an injunction. Further, the Court found that the circumstances that led the Court to deny the Plaintiffs' emergency motion for a temporary restraining order have not changed.

Animal Welfare Institute v. Martin


Animal welfare organizations sued the State of Maine under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to stop the authorization of trapping activity that affected Canada lynx. The Court of Appeals held that such organizations had standing to sue, but that the District Court did not err in its refusal to grant a permanent injunction banning foothold traps or other relief.

Animals as More Than 'Mere Things,' but Still Property: A Call for Continuing Evolution of the Animal Welfare Paradigm Abstract: Survival of the animal welfare paradigm (as contrasted with a rights-based paradigm creating legal standing for at least some animals) depends on keeping pace with appropriate societal evolution favoring stronger protections for animals. Although evolution of animal welfare protection will take many forms, this Article specifically addresses models for evolving conceptualizations of animals’ property status within the context of animal welfare. For example, in 2015 France amended its Civil Code to change its description of companion animals and some other animals from movable property to “living beings gifted with sensitivity,” while maintaining their status as property. This Article will evaluate various possible approaches courts and legislatures might adopt to highlight the distinctiveness of animals’ property status as compared to inanimate property. Although risks are inherent, finding thoughtful ways to improve or elaborate on some of our courts’ and legislatures’ animals-as-property characterizations may encourage more appropriate protections where needed under the welfare paradigm, and may help blunt arguments that animals are “mere things” under the welfare paradigm. Animals capable of pain or distress are significantly different than ordinary personal property, and more vigorously emphasizing their distinctiveness as a subset of personal property would further both animal welfare and human interests.

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