H$U$ Loses California “Downed” Livestock Case, Supreme Court

We told you!

H$U$ + AR friends Farm Sanctuary, Humane Farming Assn, ALDF as intervenors, in CALIFORNIA regarding “downed livestock” law,  has been overturned by the United States Supreme Court!  

The Supreme Court held that the existing Federal law preempted the HSUS California state law, and struck down the law sponsored by HSUS animal rights. Under CA Penal Code 599f(a-c) a maximum penalty for violation was 1yr in jail and a fine of $20,000, which is the penalty for felony animal abuse as well. Pretty much the AR law required the pigs that wouldn’t walk to be killed immediately rather than to allow vets to determine the actual cause, as allowed by Federal law.


“California strengthened regulations against slaughtering so-called “downer” animals after the 2008 release of an undercover Humane Society video showing workers abusing cows at a Southern California slaughterhouse. Under California law, the ban on buying, selling and slaughter of “downer” cattle also extends to pigs, sheep and goats.”

PDF for lawsuit verdict:  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-224.pdf


Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a California law (by HSUS) requiring slaughterhouses to immediately euthanize animals that are too sick to stand up, saying the measure violated a federal meat-safety law.

The unanimous ruling today is a victory for the National Meat Association, an industry trade group that challenged the California law.  Because federal law similarly bans the slaughter of downed cattle for food, the California law would have had its greatest impact on the handling of pigs. Under federal law, downed hogs can be slaughtered after they undergo a veterinary check to ensure they aren’t diseased. The hogs also must become ambulatory before they can be slaughtered.

The state law was enacted in 2008 after the Humane Society of the United States released a video of so-called downer cattle being kicked, electrocuted, dragged with chains and rammed with a forklift at a Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. slaughterhouse.

The California law banned slaughterhouses from buying or selling downer animals and from butchering them for human consumption. The measure also required humane handling of the animals. Of the 100 million hogs trucked to slaughter annually in the U.S., 44,000 will be unable to walk, according to the Humane Society and 2008 data from the Des Moines, Iowa-based National Pork Board, which does research and promotion of pork.

The case is National Meat Association v. Harris, 10-224.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/01/23/bloomberg_articlesLY9B6B6TTDUE01-LY9BL.DTL#ixzz1kJ8r2HeQ


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