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American Bird Conservancy v. Harvey 232 F. Supp. 3d 292 (E.D.N.Y. 2017) 2017 WL 477968 (E.D.N.Y., 2017)

Plaintiff, American Bird Conservancy, is a non-profit organization that was dedicated to the conservation of the Piping Plover (a threatened species) in this case. The individual Plaintiffs, David A. Krauss and Susan Scioli were also members of the organization, who observed Piping Plovers at Jones Beach, in New York State for many years. The Plaintiffs brought an action against Defendant Rose Harvey, the Commissioner of the New York State “Parks Office”. The Plaintiffs asserted that the Commissioner failed to act while members of the public routinely fed, built shelters, and cared for the feral cats on Jones Beach. As the cat colonies flourished, the Piping Plover population decreased due to attacks by the cats. The Plaintiffs contended that by failing to take measures to decrease the feral cat population, the Commissioner was allowing the cats to prey on the Piping Plover, in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Commissioner moved to dismiss the complaint. The District Court, held that: (1) the affidavit and documentary evidence provided by the Alley Cat Allies (ACA) organization was outside the scope of permissible supporting materials for the motion to dismiss. (2)The Plaintiffs had standing to bring action alleging violation of the Endangered Species Act. The Commissioners motion to dismiss was denied.

Case
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States Department of Agriculture 2017 WL 2352009 (N.D. Cal. May 31, 2017) (unpublished) The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regularly posted documents about the enforcement activities of the Defendant, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, (“APHIS”). The documents were posted on two online databases. However, APHIS grew concerned that its Privacy Act system was insufficient. Therefore, the USDA blocked public access to the two databases so that it could review and ensure that the documents did not contain private information. However, the Plaintiffs, animal welfare non-profit organizations, asserted that by blocking access to the databases, the USDA breached its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act's (“FOIA”)'s reading-room provision. The Plaintiff’s also asserted that the USDA's decision to block access was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”). Plaintiff's motioned for a mandatory preliminary injunction. The United States District Court, N.D. California denied the Plaintiffs motion and held that the Plaintiffs are not likely to succeed on their FOIA claim because (1) there is no public remedy for violations of the reading room provision and they have not exhausted administrative remedies. (2) The Plaintiffs are not likely to succeed on their claim under the APA because FOIA provides the Plaintiffs an adequate alternative remedy. The Plaintiffs cannot establish that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction or that the balance of harms weighs in their favor in light of the on-going review and privacy interests asserted by the USDA. Case
THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT AT FORTY: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY Daniel J. Rohlf 20 Animal L. 251 (2014)

This article provides the introduction for Volume 20, Part 2 of the Animal Law Review.

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Voiceless Animal Law Toolkit - Second Edition Voiceless Australia Voiceless Animal Law Toolkit - Second Edition In 2009, Voiceless prepared the first edition of The Animal Law Toolkit to introduce students, academics, practitioners, law firms and animal advocates to key issues in animal law. As its name suggests, that Toolkit was intended to provide the tools needed to better protect the billions of animals left with inadequate protections under our current legal framework. This second edition of The Animal Law Toolkit provides an overview of the evolving animal law landscape over the last six years, including a snapshot of emerging animal law issues, summaries of new animal law cases (both in Australia and abroad), as well as new resources and materials for students, teachers and practitioners. Article
". . . und die tiere" Constitutional Protection for Germany's Animals Kate M. Nattrass 10 Animal L. 283 (2004) In the summer of 2002, Germany welcomed animals into the folds of constitutional protection. With the addition of the words “and the animals,” Germany became the first country in the European Union (“E.U.”), and the second on the European continent, to guarantee the highest level of federal legal protection to its nonhuman animals. Though a welcomed development in the eyes of most Germans, this groundbreaking event received very little attention on the world stage. Common misconceptions about the ramifications of the constitutional amendment resulted in limited to no accurate representation in worldwide media. Likewise, international policymakers and animal protectionists have shown little awareness of this development and its potential implications. In addition to possible legal effects, the social implications of such an occurrence in a major western country are vast. International leaders will certainly take note as the effects of this change begin to take place in Germany’s laws and, increasingly, in its international policies. More importantly, the global animal protection community should take note of what is possible, and what can be learned from the achievements of Germany’s animal protection community. This study traces the legal and social developments leading to Germany’s constitutional amendment which provides protection to animals, showing how this legal highpoint was achieved. Multiple sources are used, including congressional, judicial, and party doc uments, press releases, international media reports, personal communication with leaders in four major German animal protection organizations, interviews with a key Ministry official, and published materials. This study will also critically assess the claims of the animal protection and opposition communities in order to predict where German animal law is going and what effects this change will have on the treatment of animals both within Germany and internationally. Concluding thoughts will address how the international animal protection community can understand this legal victory in a constructive context. Article
"Cruelty to Police Dogs" Laws Update Craig Scheiner 7 Animal L. 141 (2001)

Mr. Scheiner updates his article, Statutes with Four Legs to Stand On?: An Examination of "Cruelty to Police Dog" Laws, published in Volume 5 of Animal Law.

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"It's the Right Thing to Do": Why the Animal Agriculture Industry Should Not Oppose Science-Based Regulations Protecting the Welfare Of Animals Raised for Food Angela J. Geiman 106 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 128 (2008) The purpose of this commentary is to respond to the question, “Should laws criminalizing animal abuse apply to animals raised for food?” The simple answer to the question is “yes,” but the reality is not simple. It requires analyzing both the science of raising livestock and the current legal framework, which we must understand before discussing what to require and how to implement those requirements. Continued improvements in the livestock and meatpacking industries and the rising expectations of consumers add to the complexity of the issue. Article
"Live Animals": Towards Protection for Pets and Livestock in Contracts for Carriage Erin Sheley 3 J. Animal L. 59 (2007)

This article maps the current legal and logistical circumstances of animals in transportation, with a focus on commercial airlines and meat industry trucking practices, and proposes novel ways of utilizing the existing common law of contract adjudication to win stronger protections for such animals, even absent the fulfilled dream of statutory reform. In particular, it argues that courts should utilize two well-established doctrines of contractual interpretation--unconscionability and unenforceability as against public policy--to arrive at more humane results for animals.

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"Man's Best Friend:" Property or Family Member? An Examination of the Legal Classification of Companion Animals and its Impact William C. Root 47 Vill. L. Rev. 423 (2002)

This article examines the historical treatment of companion animals (pets) under the law as property or chattel, despite the degree of importance most Americans place upon their relationship with their pets. In cases of willful or negligent injury or death to these animals, courts have typically awarded market value damages, which, in most cases are nominal. The author proposes that the characterization of animals as mere property should change to reflect societal views, and punitive damages should be assessed by court where injury to the animal is willful, wanton or reckless.

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"No Animals Were Harmed . . .": Protecting Chimpanzees From Cruelty Behind The Curtain Lorraine L. Fischer 27 Hastings Comm. & Ent L.J. 405

In this law review, Lorraine L. Fischer hopes to effect change in the way chimpanzees and other exotic animals are perceived in filmed media. Fischer argues that the exploitation of these animals is unacceptable because they (and other great apes) are not only sentient beings, but beings capable of suffering, forming relationships, expressing emotion, mourning death, communicating thoughts, and expressing love. Additionally, Fischer argues that since chimpanzees are a severely endangered species, using them as actors contradicts and offends the strong public policy of conservation and preservation that should be afforded to this precious species. To illustrate how laws fail to protect chimpanzees used in entertainment, this law review examines the Endangered Species Act, the Animal Welfare Act, and various state anti-cruelty laws.

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