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

  • The De-Weaponization of FOIA In a 6-3 decision, SCOTUS rejected the “substantial competitive harm” test, as applied to FOIA’s Exemption 4, established by the D. C. Circuit in National Parks & Conservation Assn. v. Morton, 498 F. 2d 765, 767 (D.C. Cir. 1974) (“the National Parks test”) and adopted by many other appellate courts since that time.  See Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, 588 U.S. ____ (2019).  After overcoming the jurisdictional hurdle facing FMI—known as “standing”—the Court undertook a traditional review of... More
  • The Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship and Telemedicine Can veterinarians comply with state and federal requirements for the Veterinary Client Patient Relationship and practice via telemedicine? Nearly, if not all states, have some requirements regarding the establishment and maintenance of a veterinarian-client-patient relationships (VCPR) before the veterinarian can treat an animal owned by a client.  In New Jersey, for example, the regulations (not statute) defines the VCPR as i) The veterinarian has undertaken to make medical judgments regarding the health of an animal or animals, herd or flock being treated... More
  • Navigating Animal Law Issues in Family Court I was recently a panelist at the 2019 annual meeting of the New Jersey State Bar Association discussing legal issues about how to share pets after divorce.  As pets become increasingly important in many households in the United States, their disposition after divorce has become the subject of legal disputes during divorce.  Analysis of the economics related to pet ownership should be used as a tool to help inform adjudicators decide where the beloved pet should reside to insure they... More
  • The Perils of Importation of Dogs from Egypt Acknowledged and Temporarily Ceased by US Government. Rabies is a nearly 100% fatal disease when unvaccinated animals and humans are exposed.  As previously discussed the risk of exposure to rabies from dogs imported from other countries, especially from Egypt, has increased exponentially resulting from the shift from pets purchased from USDA licensed or exempt breeders in to the unregulated sales of pets increasingly imported from other countries. On May 10, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though publication in the Federal Register, announced that effective immediately, it is... More
  • Animal Biotechnology-The Way Forward On October 30, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “announced the Plant and Animal Biotechnology Innovation Action Plan to outline the key priorities the agency will pursue to support innovation in plant and animal biotechnology while advancing the agency’s public health mission. The overall goal of the action plan is to ensure the safety of plant and animal products of biotechnology while avoiding unnecessary barriers to future innovation.” See Both Acting FDA Commissioner Sharpless and FDA Chief Counsel Amin both... More
  • Annual Conference of the Food and Drug Law Institute I attended the Annual Conference of the Food and Drug Law Institute held in Washington, D.C. on May 2-3, 2019, a truly informative and well-orchestrated conference that included sessions discussing all manner of issues facing industries and attorneys representing their interests from medicines, medical devices, food, cosmetics, tobacco, cannabis, including topics I found most compelling for my practice—animal drugs and animal-related innovations. Norman E. ‘Ned’ Sharpless, MD, Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs – Food and Drug Administration and FDA Chief... More
  • A bill that would have prohibited sales of purposely-bred puppies from pet shops was soundly defeated in Oregon. Oregon HB 2804 was soundly defeated after hearing testimony from dog enthusiasts and veterinarians in a dogged effort by Patti Strand and the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) to educate the legislators about the harm to people, animals and businesses that would result if the bill became law. NAIA, founded in 1991, is a national animal welfare organization headquartered in Portland that was “created to provide fact-based answers to complex and controversial issues regarding animals.” Oral and written testimony submitted by NAIA,... More
  • FDA’s Revised Veterinary Feed Directive Part II As previously described, FDA has updated its Draft Guidance for Industry, #120, regarding the Veterinary Feed Directive Regulation. The intersection of federal and state law impacted by this regulation is interesting. Specifically, what is the impact to a veterinarian when the Veterinarian-Client-Patient relationship as defined by the relevant state law (governing that veterinarian’s license) conflicts with or is otherwise different from FDA’s definition? FDA has revised its guidance regarding this issue, quoted here.  See #120, at page 12. In those States that require a... More
  • FDA publishes Revised Draft Guidance #120 (Veterinary Feed Directive) FDA recently released an edited version of its previously released guidance on the Veterinary Feed Directive Regulation fashioned as questions and answers.  (See Guidance #120). Some of the edited and added Q&A will be discussed in future blogs, but the list of the edited and newly added questions, delineated in the table of contents, is reproduced here for those veterinarians impacted (which includes any veterinarian who issues a VFD for the use of a VFD drug in a medicated feed, regardless... More
  • USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services Offers Mammal Damage Management Assistance As part of its activities Wildlife Services (WS) provides assistance to private and public entities, including tribes and other governmental agencies, when requested to develop programs in cooperation with “land and animal management agencies to reduce damage [caused by animals] effectively and efficiently in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and Memorandums of Understanding . . . between WS and other agencies.”  See Environmental Assessment, Mammal Damage Management in the State of New Jersey. The agency explains the complexity... More