People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has filed suit against Tri-State Zoological Park, alleging that the roadside zoo’s neglect of animals violates federal and state law and constitutes a public nuisance.
PETA Files Suit Against Tri-State Zoological Park
APHIS Issues Final AWA Licensing Provisions
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule detailing changes to the Animal Welfare Act licensing requirements, including automatic termination of a license after three years and requiring that dogs have constant access to potable water. The rule will take effect on November 9, 2020.
Court Dismisses Challenge to NMFS Decision on Disclosure of Necropsy on Standing
A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by several animal rights advocates and individuals that challenged the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision not to enforce a permit condition requiring SeaWorld to release the necropsy report of an orca whale named Tilikum. The court found that the plaintiffs lacked Article III standing because they “failed to allege a cognizable informational injury.”
New Jersey Legislation Would Require Animal Dealers to Document Source of Animals
New Jersey Senate Bill 2223, if enacted, would prohibit pet dealers who sell at least 15 animals per year from obtaining those animals from breeders who are not licensed and in compliance with animal welfare laws. The bill would also require the dealers to submit an annual report including the name and identifying information of the breeders that the dealer obtained animals from that year.
Alabama Legislation Would Protect Animal Enterprises and Criminalize “Frivolous” Reports of Animal Abuse
Alabama Senate Bill 196, if enacted, would give exclusive jurisdiction over all animal enterprises in the state to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industry, ban any municipality or jurisdiction within the state from prohibiting (outright or via financial deterrents) animal enterprise, and criminalize the making of any report “clearly lacking any basis in fact or law” of animal cruelty against an animal enterprise. The bill would also discourage any entity holding an impounded animal from sterilizing the animal by making that entity liable for “the value of the animal and three times the projected revenue over the reasonably expected life” of the animal.
Iowa Bill Would Prevent Local Management of Animal Enterprises
Iowa Senate Bill 2388, if enacted, would prohibit any county or city in the state from enacting legislation that regulates any animal enterprise, including zoos, circuses, and any operation that uses animals for purposes such as entertainment or transportation.
Legislation Would Require Disclosure of a Companion Animal’s Health History and Related AWA Violations
H.R. 5715, or the Petfax Act of 2020, would require any commercial entity selling cats or dogs to provide the purchaser of the animal with a report detailing the animal’s background. The report would be required to disclose the name of the dealer who raised the animal, the number of other animals that dealer had raised in the last prior years, a listing of any Animal Welfare Act violations that dealer had committed in the prior two years, the animal’s date of birth, and the date of their most recent examination by a licensed veterinarian. The legislation would exclude not-for-profit animal shelters from these requirements.
CBD Does Not Have Informational Standing to File Suit Against FWS
A federal judge has ruled that the Center for Biological Diversity does not have standing to challenge the Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to present its Species Status Assessment Program to notice and comment rulemaking because the Endangered Species Act is not primarily an informational law.
Wildlife in Need’s Tim Stark Has AWA License Revoked
The Department of Agriculture has revoked notorious roadside zoo Wildlife in Need’s Animal Welfare Act license, after finding the company’s owner, Tim Stark, willfully violated the law “well over 120” times. The agency has also fined the facility $300,000 and Stark $40,000.
DC Circuit Revives Lawsuit Regarding Humane Handling of Birds Not Bred for Research
The DC Circuit has reversed a district court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the American Anti-Vivisection Society and the Avian Welfare Coalition against the United States Department of Agriculture that alleged that the agency’s failure to establish standards for the humane handling of birds not bred for use in research was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. The issue has been remanded to the lower court for briefing on whether such action was unreasonably delayed.