Posted on March 5, 2014 by Seth
New standard for chickens
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District Court of California, asking the federal court to overturn a 2010 California law requiring the same standards for in-state chickens be applied to out-of-state chickens. In 2008, California passed Proposition 2, a ballot measure that increased the standards for egg-layers, providing that such chickens must have enough space to spread their wings without touching another chicken, and be able to stand up and lay down. Animal producers in California, however, complained that because they couldn’t stuff as many birds into the same space, they are at an economic disadvantage when competing with out-of-state producers selling in California. In response the state legislature passed a law requiring that all eggs sold in California be held to the same standards required under Proposition 2. The law will take effect in 2015. While California maintains that the additional law was enacted for health safety given the atrocious conditions of battery cages, Missouri counters that the law is an unlawful attempt to regulate conduct outside of California’s boarders, and an impermissible protection against out-of-state competition, both of which are in violation of the Commerce Clause. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, climate change, environmental law, factory farms | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal law, animal rights, animal suffering, animal welfare, animals, battery cages, CAFOS, california, California's Proposition 2, Chris Koster, climate change, Commerce Clause, community cages, egg production, environmental law, factory farms, farmed animals, global warming, HSUS, industrial farming, Missouri | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 2, 2013 by Seth
Recently Angelique Rivard explained some of the dangers inherent in Rep. Steve King’s amendment to H.R. 6083, the Farm Bill. What makes this amendment maddening is that Mr. King has cited law to support this measure that he would decry as the product of an overreaching government in almost any other circumstance. There is no doubt that Mr. King’s proposal is intended to end state protection for farmed animals; his website proudly declares that he hopes to terminate the efforts of animal rights groups, ensuring “that radical organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and PETA are prohibited from establishing a patchwork of restrictive state laws aimed at slowly suffocating production agriculture out of existence.”
King has hardly been the darling of animal rights before this foray, as Stephen Colbert nicely summarizes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Humane Society Legislative Fund and the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund both gave him a 0% rating in 2012. This came after a 2010 statement at a National 4-H Conference that “the HSUS is run by vegetarians with an agenda whose goal is to take meat off everyone’s table in America.” King has also previously voted against broadening the definitions of the Endangered Species Act in 2005 which would have enabled better listing criteria.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal law, animal rights, animal welfare, factory farms, Uncategorized, vegetarianism | Tagged: animal abuse, animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, animal suffering, animal welfare, animals, battery cages, CAFOS, california, climate change, Congress, egg production, environmental advocacy, factory farms, farmed animals, HSUS, industrial farming, Iowa, Rep. Steve King, veganism, vegetarianism | 6 Comments »
Posted on December 11, 2012 by Seth
From the tone of the NY Times article, John Bartmann doesn’t sound like a bad man. Though some readers might demonize him because he is involved in animal farming, this isn’t the CEO of a major industrial producer, and it would be inaccurate to lump him in under the same heading. I expect Mr. Bartmann knows a thing or two about sheep husbandry, and likely has his own grievances with the CAFO industry. Still, his plight is indicative of the complicated issues surrounding modern farming, and is not free from critique. The decline of the modern rancher, especially in the drought of 2012, highlights many of the problems with food in the United States, through both animal and environmental perspectives. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal law, animal welfare, climate change, environmental ethics, environmental law, factory farms | Tagged: 2012 drought, animal ethics, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, cafo, climate change, Colorado, concentrated animal feeding operations, environmental ethics, environmental law, environmentalism, factory farms, farmed animals, food, global warming, industrial farming, lamb, New Zealand sheep, sheep, US food market, western agriculture | 6 Comments »
Posted on December 4, 2012 by Seth
Just in case you were worried that a python outbreak wasn’t enough, there’s another top predator in southern Florida. This past fall there have been sightings of Nile crocodiles south of Miami. This presents a bit of a conundrum for wildlife supervisors. You see the Nile crocodile is on international threatened lists, and is disappearing in its native habitat. Because Florida, however, is not its native habitat, and because the state already has to manage with non-native snakes eliminating the mammal population, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has authorized a state shoot-to-kill order. Though there are native crocodiles in Florida, the Nile crocodile is known to be fiercer and more deadly, and is one of the few animals left on the planet that still hunts humans.
While Nile crocodiles haven’t reached the infestation levels of the python, they are potentially more problematic in smaller numbers. FWC officers suspect that the crocodiles may have originated from an illegal captive breeding facility, but it is still unknown exactly from where they are coming, or how many there are.
Again we are faced with the same unresolved questions on how to handle non-native species that can drastically alter a habitat. Do we preserve a threatened species, one of the greatest and most resilient in history, or do we hunt down the crocodiles before they make other animals endangered or extinct? Or do we simply pit the pythons and crocs against each other in a winner-take-all showdown on prime time? Either way, it’s hardly an enviable decision for the FWC.
Filed under: climate change, endangered species, environmental ethics, environmental law, exotic animals | Tagged: animal ethics, animals, climate change, endangered species, environmental advocacy, Everglades, exotic species, florida, global warming, invasive species, Miami, Nile crocodile, non-native species, pythons | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 31, 2012 by Seth
Do you love your meat? Well, love it or hate it, it may well cause the collapse of our global society. In the latest report confirming the strain factory farming and overconsumption of animal products causes our environment, The Guardian reports that mass food shortages are predicted within the next 40 years if we as a species do not scale back meat consumption. It’s a simple matter of not having enough water to produce the crops necessary to support the animals needed to satisfy current consumption, to say nothing of what another 2 billion human mouths will bring to the table. If we do not scale back, food shortages and water shortages could be a worldwide reality, as well as food price spikes. Continue reading
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal rights, animal welfare, climate change, environmental ethics, factory farms | Tagged: animal advocacy, animal suffering, animal welfare, animals, arctic, Arctic oil drilling, CAFOS, clean energy, climate change, drought, endangered species, Endangered Species Act, environmental advocacy, environmentalism, factory farms, farmed animals, food shortage, GOP, industrial farming, obama, Pennsylvania gas, polar bears, Romeny, us drought, vegan, veganism, vegetarianism | 3 Comments »
Posted on July 13, 2012 by David
Here’s a teaser from my forthcoming piece, “Hot, Crowded & Legal: A look at Industrial Agriculture in the United States and Brazil.” The article is co authored with the fabulous Sarah Saville (Pace JD 2012) and will appear in the Animal Law Review. The article is based on a talk I gave at the Review’s Inaugural Symposium in Fall 2011.
This essay examines the impact of industrial animal agriculture in the United States and Brazil. It surveys the respective regulatory environments in the two countries and discusses how their regulatory regimes have enabled the spread of factory farming while taking little heed of its pernicious effects. We focus on the United States and Brazil for several reasons. First, they are the first and eight largest economies in the world, respectively. Second, both countries have very large agricultural sectors and play significant roles internationally. In addition, both countries have begun to address the issues raised by factory farming while yet having much work yet to do.
Filed under: animal law | Tagged: animal law, Brazil, climate change, comparative animal law, factory farms, farmed animals, industrial agriculture, industrial farming | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 13, 2011 by David
Jillian N. Bittner
You drive to the supermarket in your “green” car, checking your back seat before you leave for your re-usable bags– yet you stand on line about to purchase the packaged beef sitting at the bottom of your cart and do not stop to think twice about the environment? – Perhaps you should.
While the environmental legal community emphasizes the desperate need to harness and reduce CO2 emissions as a way to mitigate the current and impending consequences of greenhouse gases on climate change, the community at large has ignored the impact of a greater culprit – CH4, or rather methane gas. Animal agriculture accounts not only as a source of CO2, or nitrous oxide (N2O; another potent greenhouse gas), but is the number one source of methane gas worldwide – beating out the effects of vehicles and airplanes combined. But why should the environmental and legal communities be more concerned with CH4? According to the EPA, “methane is about 21 times more powerful at warming the atmosphere than CO2 by weight.”
Cows, and the corresponding beef industry, are the largest contributors of methane gas. Cows produce this effect partly through belching and flatulence as a consequence of their digestive systems, which are characteristic of ruminant animals. Yet CAFOs remain unregulated. Continue reading
Filed under: animal law, climate change, diet, environmental law, factory farms | Tagged: animal law, CAFOS, climate change, diet, environmental advocacy, environmental ethics, environmental law, factory farms, farmed animals, global warming, industrial farming, meat, methane | Leave a comment »