The ABA Journal Blawg 100

The more contact people have with Animal Law, the better it is for all (including and especially nonhuman animals).  That is the guiding principal of this blog.  Towards that end, the folks at the (Shameless) Marketing Desk have asked me to share the email below with you.  They have further asked me to let you know that if you should be inclined to pay a visit to the Blawg 100 site and spread the word about the Animal Blawg, that would be alright with them.  Continue reading

Some Thankful Sea Lions

Gillian Lyons

According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, since 2008 40 California Sea Lions have been removed from the Bonneville Dam area (which straddles the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.) 25 of these sea lions were euthanized, 10 were given to aquariums and 5 were captured and subsequently died (of unspecified causes.)  Why was such a charismatic species being systematically removed from the area?  The sea lions feed on spring chinook salmon and steelhead when the fish become stymied by the Dam and such action was needed, the agency claimed, to protect the endangered and threatened fish runs.  Apparently, however, NMFS determined that only those sea lions that were “persistent offenders” and were caught repeatedly eating salmon or steelhead deserved the “removal” sentence, and as of March 2010, the agency had a list of 64 sea lions eligible to be euthanized for such behavior.         Continue reading

Turkey Pardons (reprised)

David Cassuto

As I sat down to type some Thanksgiving thoughts, I found myself returning to what I wrote a couple of years ago, back when this blog was first beginning.  I’m still saddened and bewildered by the idea of pardoning turkeys.  And, since not many people read the blog back then, I offer those now two-year old thoughts back up again for your consideration.

Much has been said about the ritual of Thanksgiving and its accompanying slaughter of hundreds of millions of defenseless birds, most of who lived short lives of unrelenting and abject misery. I have little to add to what’s already out there except my own indignation and sorrow. But I do have something to say about the Thanksgiving ritual, particularly the embedded legal contradiction in the practice (discussed by Luis below) of pardoning turkeys.          Continue reading

Law Student Grant Opportunity

David Cassuto

From the email — another fab-o opportunity for students interested in animal issues.

Animal Welfare Trust is currently seeking applicants for our 2011 Student Grant Program. The grant provides up to $5000 per recipient for graduate students to work on an independent research project under faculty supervision or for an unpaid position within an established organization. Internships can be for a summer, semester, or year-long duration. Applications are due on March 1, 2011. Details about the grant program, the application process, and information on past recipients can be found on our website at www.animalwelfaretrust.org under “student internships.” Continue reading

Check Out The Most Recent Issue of the Journal of Legal Education

David Cassuto

Because it has 4 (count ‘em 4!) articles on animal law and animal legal education including one by Friend of the Blog, Bruce Wagman.

Amidst All the Slaughter — Abuse. Who Knew?

David Cassuto

Photo by Scott Nelson for the New York Times

From the morbid irony desk:

In this article about the demoralizing struggles of an animal activist in the Arab world, we learn that:

At the Basateen slaughterhouse, near the vast cemetery known as the City of the Dead, butchers stride about in knee-high rubber boots, surrounded by lakes of feces, blood and urine. It was here that [an] Australian reporter documented animal abuses in 2006.

I know I was shocked to learn that in a slaughterhouse located in the City of the Dead — amid butchers wading through lakes of feces, blood, and urine — some animal abuses were committed.  Shocked, I tell you.

White-tailed Deer and Valley Forge National Park

Gillian Lyons

Earlier this year, the National Park Service announced their plan to reduce the white-tailed deer population of Valley Forge National Park.  On October 4, the Service announced that the “lethal reduction phase” was set to begin this November and would take place over the next 4 years.  Overall, by 2014, the Service plans to eliminate 80% of the Park’s deer population, reducing the herd from over a 1000 to less than 200.  After 2014 the Park Service plans to maintain the herd’s shrunken population with the use of birth control.  The reason for this cull?  According to the Park Service, the deer population, overgrown as it is, is detrimental to the park’s flora and fauna- consuming more plant life than can be re-grown, and destroying habitat for the park’s other wildlife.                                     Continue reading

Summer Job at Compassion Over Killing

David Cassuto

From the email — a cool-looking summer gig.

SUMMER LITIGATION INTERN POSITION
Compassion Over Killing (COK) is seeking Litigation Interns for Summer, 2011 (unpaid). Compassion Over Killing is a national nonprofit (501(c)(3)) animal advocacy organization. Working to end animal abuse since 1995, COK focuses on ending and preventing cruelty to animals in agriculture. The 2011 Summer Litigation Interns will work with COK’s Legal Advocacy Program in our West Coast office in Torrance, California.     Continue reading

Recent Animal Law Scholarship

David Cassuto

With a hat tip to ace Pace Law Librarian, Jack McNeil, here is some animal law scholarship published this month:

ANIMAL LAW.
Gregory, John DeWitt. Pet custody: distorting language and the law. 44 Fam. L.Q. 35-64 (2010).

Karp, Adam P. and Julie I. Fershtman. Recent developments in animal tort and insurance law. 45 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L.J. 149-177 (2010).

Renwick, Megan L. Note. Animal hoarding: a legislative solution. 47 U. Louisville L. Rev. 585-606 (2009).

Seps, Christopher D. Note. Animal law evolution: treating pets as persons in tort and custody disputes. 2010 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1339-1373.

D.C. Passes Wildlife Protection Act

Gillian Lyons

Earlier this week, the D.C. City Council unanimously passed B18-498, the Wildlife Protection Act.  You may be wondering exactly what type of wildlife resides within the limits of the District of Columbia and the answer, inevitably, is various species that the human species unfortunately views as “pests.”  Many of these species fall under B18-498’s protections.

In effect, B18-498 regulates pest control companies operating within city limits, imposing on these companies certain humane treatment standards for the animals they are called upon to control.  For instance, the Act prohibits glue traps, as well as snare/snap traps; it prohibits lethal measures that are not approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association; it requires that trapped injured animals be taken to rehabilitation centers; and, it mandates that pest control officers attempt to reunite mothers with their young and keep family units in tact when trapping (and hopefully releasing) animals.  The Act also requires those working in the “pest control” industry to be trained and licensed. Continue reading

Bee Careful

Sam Capasso

I was recently made aware that Illinois is taking bees the only way they should be taken: seriously.  In the middle of July this past summer, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed Public Act 96-1028 into law, becoming effective starting January 1, 2011. The law protects bees and their keepers by adding and changing a few definitions in the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (IFDCA) , the Criminal Code of 1961, and the Sanitary Food Preparation Act (SFPA).

First, the Department of Public Health may no longer regulate honey that is in the comb or that is removed from the comb and in an unadulterated condition under the provisions of the IFDCA and the SFPA.  Also, producers engaged in the sale of honey at a local market, packing or selling less than 500 gallons of honey per year in Illinois, are exempt from Sanitary Food Preparation Act and so  the Department of Public Health may not regulate or inspect the producer’s honey house.   Continue reading

Some Noteworthy Blogs

David Cassuto

From the props desk:

Top 101 Blogs to Inspire You To Protect Endangered Species. Look for us therein.

Happy Meals No More in San Francisco

David Cassuto

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted to prohibit Happy Meals (and their ilk) from having toys until the nutritional content is improved.  The mayor has promised to veto it but the 8-3 margin of passage is veto-proof.  Some skinny:

“Under the proposal, restaurants would be barred from giving away the popular toys unless the meals contain fewer than 600 calories and fewer than 640 milligrams of sodium. In addition, no more than 34 percent of the calories could be derived from fat (less than 10 percent from saturated fat), except for fat found in nuts, seeds, eggs or low-fat cheese. In terms of beverages, fewer than 35 percent of the total calories could come from fat, and fewer than 10 percent from added sweeteners.

And then there are the items that San Francisco’s lawmakers say must be included in the meals: at least a half-cup of fruit and three-quarters a cup of vegetables, except for breakfast meals. Those only must contain a half-cup or more of fruit or vegetables.”    Continue reading

Government Hypocrisy — The Dairy Version

David Cassuto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amidst all the topsy turvy election results, one can easily start obsessing about the nation’s future.  Or, one can cling to the words of Lee Hays whose comment on the 1980 election results was: “This too shall pass; I’ve had kidney stones and I know.”  But was he right?  It depends on what issues matter to you.

One of the dominant themes of this election was a sense of voter outrage with the actions (or inaction) of the government.  I too am outraged, but for entirely different reasons than were discussed by either party.  I’m outraged by the government’s entrenched, callous, and bizarre complicity in the hegemony of industrial food.  Continue reading

Animal Law Voter Initiatives: The Results

Gillian Lyons

Early this week, Professor Cassuto linked us to a website which ran through all of the animal welfare based initiatives included on ballots across the country. Well, the results are in, and here they are:

The Losses:

Arkansas:  Capturing 83 % of the vote, Issue 1, which proposed a constitutional amendment that would secure the right for residents to hunt, fish, trap, and harvest wildlife in the state, was adopted by Arkansas residents.   As a result, Arkansas’s constitution will include this (slightly disturbing) article:

Continue reading

Animal Law Voter Initiatives

David Cassuto

Informative post here regarding various animal law-related ballot initiatives on ballots around the country,  Sadly, with the exception of Missouri’s Prop B (which deals with puppy mills), they’re pretty much all hunting related.

North Dakota Measure 2 — Canned Hunting Contextualized

David Cassuto

There’s an odd debate going on within the North Dakota agriculture industry over Measure 2, which would ban canned hunting in the state.  On the one hand are those who support the measure because they believe canned hunts  reflect badly on the animal industry and also bring the threat of disease to livestock.  On the other side are those who say canned hunting is no different than other types of animal agriculture in that both businesses raise the animals for meat.   According to one measure opponent, “It would seem to me that the animal there is private property.  This (ban) is one step away from banning the slaughter of cattle, hogs and sheep, what have you.”      Continue reading

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