Passed State Actions
Texas Requires Microchip Scanning as “Soon as Practicable”
Texas Governor has signed into law House Bill 604 which requires that animal shelters, animal rescue organizations, and other “releasing agenc[ies]” scan an animal placed in their custody to check for a microchip “as soon as practicable.”
Tennessee Revises Crime of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals
Tennessee Governor has signed into law Senate Bill 166 which amends the definition of the crime of aggravated cruelty to animals to include knowing (as well as intentional) acts and to include killing, maiming, torturing, crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, mutilating, starving, and otherwise causing “serious physical injury” to a companion animal.
Case Law Updates
Federal Case Law Updates
Judge Blocks Georgia Harbor Dredging
A federal judge in Georgia has granted a conservation group’s request for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order to block the Army Corps of Engineers from dredging the Brunswick Harbor this summer. Represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, the plaintiffs, One Hundred Miles, argued that the agency failed to consider the impacts of the dredging on coastal wildlife under the National Environmental Policy Act.
DC Circuit Confirms Lack of Notice and Comment Alone Does Not Give Standing
The DC Circuit has affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the Center for Biological Diversity does not have standing to challenge the Fish and Wildlife Service’s “framework” for evaluating which animals should be protected under the Endangered Species Act solely because the organization was not provided notice and comment on the program.
NMFS Announces ESA Five-Year Review of Sperm Whale
The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced the initiation of a mandatory 5-year review under the Endangered Species Act for the sperm whale. The agency is accepting information to assist in its review until July 26, 2021.