Blog – Animal Law Update

Join our team of seasoned attorneys as they offer valuable insight to proposed regulatory and statutory amendments that may impact your animal-related businesses or activities.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Novel copyright infringement lawsuit against documentary filmmaker by Vancouver Aquarium. The Vancouver Aquarium filed suit against documentary filmmakers for alleged copyright infringement and breach of contract regarding at least some portions of a video entitled Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered, which purportedly exposes “the truth about whales and dolphins in captivity” at the Aquarium. In “Oral Reasons for Judgment” the Honorable Madam Justice Watchuk described the factual background of the case, in relevant part, as follows: The Aquarium’s civil complaint alleged that the video contains some of the plaintiff’s copyrighted works, including from... More
  • United Poultry Concerns Tries to Stop Kaporos (Again)   For at least the third year in a row, United Poultry Concerns (UPC) the animal rights nonprofit “promoting the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl,” filed a lawsuit to ban the religious practice called Kaporos, where a chicken is used in a religious ritual and then slaughtered during the high holy days. UPC’s lawsuit was brought in California as a “private attorney general action under California Business and Professions Code § 17200 (the ‘Unfair Competition Law’or ‘UCL’). Plaintiff seeks an... More
  • NYC Council will consider a proposed circus ban (and more) NYC Council is at it again. This time, they are considering an ordinance that will ‘prohibit the display or exhibition of many wild or exotic animals, with exceptions for accredited zoos, research facilities, religious ceremonies or celebrations, and educational or conservation-related programs or presentations.” Clearly, the ordinance, if passed, would shutter all circuses that include exhibitions of wild or exotic animals, but it could also prohibit television programs filmed in NYC that display these animals. As reported by Verena Dobnik, Associated Press, on... More
  • Latest news about Senator Lesniak’s bill to further amend New Jersey’s Pet Purchase Protection Act (PPPA). Since its passage in the Senate, there has not been much action with the Assembly version of S63. However, as recently reported by Andrew George on “Lesniak says he’s planning to amend the bill” to address concerns of pet store owners and their sources, including “eliminating the grandfathering portion of the measure and lifting the restriction on new pet stores to only source from kennels, shelters or animal rescues.” However, there is no new version of the bill with these amendments to... More
  • Pet Stores Under Attack-Mandatory Sterilization Preempted by State Law The City Law includes mandatory sterilization requirements for 8 week-old puppies and kittens who weigh at least 2 pounds. The question is not “can the surgery be performed on a 2 pound 8 week old puppy” but rather, based on the totality of the circumstances, can the veterinarian recommend the procedure for a puppy or dog housed before and after surgery in a pet store and obtain informed consent from the animal’s owner. For the following reasons, as NYPWA experts and NYC... More
  • Pet Stores Under Attack-Pet stores do not contribute to local overpopulation Pet stores used to be the primary source for puppies in the U.S.  That role has drastically changed-rescues and shelters are now the dominant providers of pets, replacing pet stores.  In fact, thousands of puppies are imported into the Northeast to supply the increasing demand for “rescued” pets, as promoted with million-dollar campaigns from nonprofit animal rights organizations’ intent on eliminating commercial dog breeding, hobby breeding, and sales from pet stores. At the same time, shelters, condemned by the public for... More
  • Pet stores under attack-sourcing bans violate the Supremacy Clause The interstate pet market has been targeted for decades by NGO’s intent on eliminating purposely-bred pets and replacing them with randomly-sourced and irresponsibly-bred pets sold through rescue and shelter channels. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) more than “140 jurisdictions nationwide” have recently passed pet store sourcing limitations or bans, with 35 local bans passed in the first five months of 2016 alone.  The patchwork of ordinances affecting retail pet stores and their sources are decimating... More
  • Pet Stores Under Attack-Continued: Shelters, Rescues and Pet Stores sell the same product – dogs and cats. Shelters, Rescues, and pet stores all provide pets for consumers. The transfer of ownership is the same, whether described as an “adoption” or “sale.” Both the federal and state governments consider the transfer of ownership from these entities to be equivalent. The transfer of money for these pets is considered remuneration, whether based on a sale, adoption fee or donation. USDA “consider[s] acts of compensation to include any remuneration for the animals, regardless of whether it is for profit or... More
  • Pet Stores Under Attack-Continued: The New York City Pet Store Law Violates the Commerce Clause At its core, the Law is an attempt at economic protectionism of the City’s favored source of pets, animal shelters and rescues, who are expressly exempted from the Laws’ sourcing restrictions and mandatory sterilization requirements for pet stores, and discriminates against articles of commerce (puppies) coming from other states based simply on their origin from Class B licensees. See Philadelphia v. New Jersey, 437 U.S. 617, 626-627 (1978) This law does not protect the public health or welfare, an oft-cited defense... More
  • Pet Stores Under Attack We are proud to represent the New York Pet Welfare Association, whose members include purposely-bred dog owners, breeders, wholesalers, pet stores and veterinarians from across the country. This association, like many other hard-working, animal-loving businesses and individuals, has been increasingly under assault by wealthy nonprofit and retail rescue organizations, including ASPCA and HSUS, (“Retail Rescue Organizations”) intent on eliminating the only source of healthy, humanely-raised, highly regulated puppies in this country. Over the next several blogs I will describe the legal... More