Senate Bill 2597, the Healthy Dog Importation Act, would require all dogs imported into the United States be in good health, be accompanied by a certificate from “a licensed veterinarian accredited by a competent veterinary authority recognized by the Secretary” demonstrating that the animal has received “all necessary vaccinations and demonstrated negative test results,” and has a permanent identification method. The bill contains exemptions for research purposes, veterinary treatment, and lawful importation into Hawaii. The bill is the Senate companion to House Bill 4239, introduced in June 2021.
Congress Considers Additional Requirements for Importation of Dogs
Lawsuit Challenges Smithfield Claims Regarding Worker Safety and Potential Meat Shortage
Food & Water Watch has filed suit against Smithfield Foods alleging the meatpacking company made false and misleading claims during the COVID-19 pandemic that it was prioritizing worker safety and that a nationwide meat shortage was imminent.
ESA Lawsuit Challenging EPA COVID-19 Endangered Species Act Policy Dismissed
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s temporary suspension of some Endangered Species Act enforcement actions in response to the coronavirus pandemic without the required consultation of the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. The judge ruled the Center for Biological Diversity, Waterkeeper Alliance, and Riverkeeper did not have standing to bring the suit because they could not prove the EPA’s policy caused a real risk to endangered species.
Former Employees Allege Meat Processor Denied Pandemic Leave
Two former employees have filed suit [Complaint 1 and Complaint 2] against a Pennsylvania meat processor, John F. Martin & Sons, alleging that the company wrongly terminated them during the Covid-19 pandemic after improperly denying them leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging OSHA’s Enforcement of Pandemic Protocols
A federal judge has granted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by workers in the meatpacking industry seeking a writ of mandamus to compel the agency to obtain a court order directing a meatpacking plant “to abate imminent dangers to its employees related to the transmission of COVID-19.” The court determined that the relevant section of the Occupational Safety and Health Act “affords employees relief only in those instances where the Secretary has been presented with a finding of imminent danger by an OSHA inspector and has arbitrarily and capriciously rejected the recommendation to take legal action.”
Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging USDA’s Avian Flu Control Plan
A federal judge has denied the United States Department of Agriculture’s Motion to dismiss a case brought by the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, and Mercy for Animals alleging that the agency’s adoption of a response plan to avian flu is a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Procedure Act, and the Council on Environmental Quality regulations.
Smithfield to Pay Almost $8 Million to Settle Wage Suit
Smithfield Packaged Meats Corporation has agreed to pay $7.75 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the company failed to properly pay workers overtime during the pandemic.
OIG to Examine USDA’s Handling of Coronavirus Pandemic
The Office of Inspector General is reportedly reviewing the United States Department of Agriculture’s handling of inspections at meatpacking plants during the coronavirus pandemic.
Congress Considers Legislation to Prevent Future Pandemics
House Bill 151, the Preventing Future Pandemics Act of 2021, would require a national study on the risk of live animal markets, promote international collaboration to push for a global ban on commercial wildlife markets and enforcement of existing laws to end wildlife trafficking, appropriate $300,000,000 to reduce international demand for wildlife consumption, and prohibit the importation of wildlife into the United States.
Tyson Faces Shareholder Derivative Suit
A new lawsuit alleges fifteen directors breached their fiduciary duty with regard to the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The complaint cites insufficient provision of PPE to workers, failure to warn employees of possible exposure to positive cases of the coronavirus, efforts to have the industry deemed “essential,” wrongful death lawsuits, and false and misleading statements regarding the company’s handling of the pandemic.