Virginia Prohibits Production or Sale of Cosmetic Products Using Animal Tests
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed into law Senate Bill 1379, the Humane Cosmetics Act, which prohibits conducting or contracting for cosmetic animal testing or manufacturing after January 1, 2022; importing any cosmetic or ingredient thereof if the manufacturer knew or reasonably should have known it was developed or manufactured using an animal test after January 1, 2022; and the sale of cosmetic products developed using animal tests after July 1, 2022.
Utah Prohibits Confinement of Egg-Laying Hens
Utah Governor Spencer Cox has signed into law Senate Bill 147 which will prohibit the confinement of egg-laying hens in an enclosure that is not a cage-free housing system or that has less usable floor space per hen than as required by the 2017 edition of the United Egg Producers' Animal Husbandry Guidelines for U.S. Egg-Laying Flocks: Guidelines for Cage-Free Housing. To qualify as a cage-free housing system an environment must provide egg-laying hens “enrichments that allow them to exhibit natural behaviors including, at a minimum, scratch areas, perches, nest boxes, and dust bathing areas.” The law will also prohibit the sale or transport of eggs or egg products that a business owner knows or should have known were produced by an egg-laying hen that was confined in a manner prohibited by the law. The prohibitions take effect on January 1, 2025, and the state Department of Agriculture and Food is required to prepare a report to the state legislature on “efforts taken by farm owners and operators to come into compliance” with the pending prohibition by November 2023.
Virginia Passes Bill Requiring Research Facilities to Offer Animals Used in Research for Adoption
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed into law Senate Bill 1417 which will require any animal testing facility that no longer has a need for a dog or a cat in its possession to offer such animal for adoption.
Case Law Updates
Federal Case Law Updates
Groups Challenge Endangered Species Act 4(b)(2) Rule
The Center for Biological Diversity, American Bird Conservancy, Conservation Council for Hawaii, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Club, and Wildearth Guardians have filed suit against the Fish and Wildlife Service alleging that the agency’s 2020 promulgation of a new rule implementing section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act violates both the ESA itself and the Administrative Procedure Act.
CEQ Rescinds Draft Guidance on NEPA Consideration of Greenhouse Gasses
The Council on Environmental Quality has announced it is rescinding its “Draft National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions” consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order 13990 entitled “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.”
USDA Requests Comments on Climate-Smart Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture has requested public comment on what steps the agency could take to mitigate climate change in agriculture and forestry. The agency is accepting comments until April 29, 2021.
Labeling Restrictions and Free Speech
An article by Eryn Terry, “The Regulation of Commercial Speech: Can Alternative Meat Companies Have Their Beef and Speak It Too,” published in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology law, explores the fight over labeling of plant-based and cultivated products.
Animal Law Commentaries in Harvard Law Review Forum
The Harvard Law Review has published three commentaries on Animal Law in its online Forum. The HLR Forum is the companion to the print journal, hosting scholarly discussion of HLR print content and timely reactions to recent developments in the law. The three commentaries are:
- Justin Marceau, Palliative Animal Law: The War on Animal Cruelty, 134 Harv. L. Rev. F. 250 (2021);
- Jessica Rubin, Desmond’s Law: Early Impressions of Connecticut’s Court Advocate Program for Animal Cruelty Cases, 134 Harv. L. Rev. F. 263 (2021); and
- Kristen Stilt, Rights of Nature, Rights of Animals, 134 Harv. L. Rev. F. 276 (2021).