The Center for Biological Diversity has settled its lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alleging that the agency failed to designate critical habitat for several endangered species in Hawaii. The settlement includes an agreement by the agency that it will make a critical habitat proposal for the species at issue by February of 2023.
CBD Settles Hawaii Endangered Species Suit
CBD Alleges FWS Failing to Protect Endangered Toad
The Center for Biological Diversity has filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, alleging that the agency has failed to provide a sufficient recovery plan for the Houston toad, listed as endangered almost fifty years ago.
California Sues Trump Administration Over Water Analysis Under ESA
The state of California has filed suit against several federal agencies, alleging that the agencies’ conclusion that diverting water away from the state’s Central Valley to agricultural operations would not harm endangered species was flawed.
New York Court Denies Habeas Corpus Relief for Happy the Elephant
New York Supreme Court Justice Tuitt has “regretfully” denied the Nonhuman Rights Project’s request for habeas corpus relief for an elephant named Happy currently confined to the Bronx Zoo. The decision was based on binding precedent by the state’s Appellate Division. The Nonhuman Rights Project has stated it will appeal the decision.
“Prince of Whales” Can Continue ESA Suit Against Massachusetts
Self-titled activist the “Prince of Whales,” Richard Maximus “Max” Strahan, may continue his Endangered Species Act lawsuit against the state of Massachusetts, a federal judge has ruled. The lawsuit alleges that the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs violates the Endangered Species Act by requiring lobster fishermen to use a type of gear (vertical buoy ropes) that may harm and kill endangered right whales.
FWS Applied Unlawful Heightened Standard of Review to Section 7 Endangered Species Act Consultation for Jaguars’ Critical Habitat
A District Court in Arizona has ruled that the Fish and Wildlife Service improperly used a heightened standard of review in determining whether an agency action is “likely” to jeopardize the continued existence of any threatened or endangered species during a Section 7 Consultation. The court found that the agency, rather than applying its established standard of “more likely than not,” improperly applied a heightened standard of “very probable.” The court remanded the issue to the agency, requiring that it redo its Biological Opinion using a proper “more likely than not” standard.
Miyoko’s Sues California Department of Food and Agriculture Over First Amendment Violation
Plant-based dairy company Miyoko’s Kitchen Inc. has filed suit against the California Department of Food and Agriculture, alleging violations of the company’s First Amendment rights when the agency told the company to stop calling its products “butter” and claiming the products are “cruelty and animal free.”
Lawsuit Filed Over Slaughter of Sick and Injured Pigs
The Lewis & Clark Animal Law Litigation Clinic, representing Farm Sanctuary, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Outlook, Animal Welfare Institute, Compassion in World Farming, Farm Forward, and Mercy for Animals, has filed suit against the Department of Agriculture for failing to follow a Congressional mandate to investigate and report on issues related to nonambulatory livestock, including humane handling.
Kansas Ag-Gag Law Found Unconstitutional
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas ruled that the state’s ag-gag law violated the First Amendment by banning undercover investigations at factory farms and slaughterhouses. The law was the oldest of its kind in the country, dating to 1990. This is the fifth ag-gag law to be struck down in the country.
Attempt to List Wild Horse Herd Under ESA to Move Forward
Friends of Animals won a procedural victory with respect to its Endangered Species Act listing petition to have a wild horse herd listed as endangered or threatened. The court ruled that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s new state notification requirement for listing petitions violated the agency’s statutory obligation to provide an initial response to the petition within 90 days based on the evidence submitted with the petition, and without obtaining additional information from a state.