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

  • Animal Welfare Labeling Can Be Litigation Trap for Farms, Food Industry and Restaurants Including animal care standards in advertising, on websites and in labeling is a growing trend among food-related businesses that can have unintended – and costly – consequences. Animal rights organizations pressure animal agriculture businesses to include such statements, ostensibly to avoid negative publicity campaigns and protests. Targets include producers of beef, dairy products, eggs,poultry and pork, as well as goat and sheep farmers. Similarly, food manufacturers, distributors and restaurant chains are pressed to advertise that their suppliers comply with certain animal welfare... More
  • Pharma and Universities Are Targets When Animal Activists Search Public Records An increasing tactic of animal rights organizations (AR) is to mine public records in the hopes of finding ammunition to use against universities, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations and associated vendors. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has used data from public records to launch a database of universities, grading them “bad” to “worse,” even if they do not currently house animals involved in research. Although the filing of many public documents is mandatory, there are steps researchers can take to... More
  • The Dog Days of Summer at the New York Times-Part 2 In “Dogs Are Not Here for Our Convenience,” an op-ed by Alexandra Horowitz published by the NYT on September 4, 2019, Dr. Horowitz questions the “widespread policies of desexing dogs, [because] we are not just removing their gonads.  We are changing their bodies, their health and their behavior-not always for the better.” As previously discussed in “Pet Stores Under Attack-Mandatory Sterilization Preempted by State Law,”  a New York City Law that mandates sterilization of puppies and kittens as young as 8... More
  • The Dog Days of Summer at the New York Times Two articles were published about dogs (and cats) in the New York Times on September 4, 2019, that describe, in part, varying positions of a complicated issue-spay and neuter of pets in the United States—“Spaying, Neutering and Rescuing Lead to Drop in Pet Euthanasia” by author Alicia Parlapiano and “Dogs Are Not Here for Our Convenience” by Alexandra Horowitz.  Ms. Parlapiano describes the decreased euthanasia rates across the country attributable—at least in part—to voluntary spay and neutering programs and increases... More
  • On the plight/flight of service animals On Wednesday, August 21, 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a “Final statement of enforcement priorities regarding service animals.”  84 FR 43480-01, 2019 WL 3934886 (F.R.).  Unfortunately, as several associations commented, the language in this “guidance document” creates more not less confusion regarding what is legally identifiable a “service animal.” This final statement followed an interim statement (published on May 23, 2018) and an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comment on amending the Department’s Air Carrier Access Act... More
  • Food Recycling in Hog Farming is Losing its Allure The Swine Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 3801, et seq.), enacted in 1980, regulates food waste fed to swine and helps ensure that it is properly treated to kill disease causing organisms.  According to USDA, The Swine Health Protection Act (SHPA) regulates food waste containing any meat products fed to swine.  Compliance with this act ensures that all food waste fed to swine is properly treated to kill disease organisms.  Raw meat may transmit numerous infectious or communicable diseases to swine,... More
  • Limiting pet owners’ wishes for their pets set forth in their will based on public policy concerns. A NJ bill just introduced would prohibit enforcement of provision in decedent’s will that would require euthanasia of healthy domestic companion animal.  See S4060 and sister bill A5691. As used in this act: (1) “Fiduciary” includes executors, general administrators of an intestate estate, administrators with the will annexed, substituted administrators, substituted administrators with the will annexed, guardians, substituted guardians, trustees, substituted trustees and, unless restricted by the subject or context, temporary administrators, administrators pendente lite, administrators ad prosequendum, administrators ad litem and... More
  • Guest Blog: Some interesting data on women in leadership roles in science and ag Reposted with permission from CHRISTINE ALVARADO. First published on on August 23, 2019.   One of my previous blogs on April 5, 2019, “The Pecking order in a Straight Run Barn” mentioned some work my colleagues were conducting to survey women leaders in science and agriculture. The focus of this survey was to determine the barriers that exist for women moving into leadership roles. I received several email and comments asking about the results.  The research was presented this summer at a scientific meeting and... More
  • 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