Good news! The inaugural issue of Stanford's Journal of Animal Law and Policy is available online. Each of the articles in the issue is available for download as a pdf. Of particular note, there is an article by Animal Legal Defense Fund's Joyce Tischler entitled The History of Animal Law, Part I (1972-1987). With the addition of this new journal, there are now at least four journals dedicated to animal law, demonstrating that the interest in animal law continues to grow - I've added a list and links to each of the journals along the left hand side of the blog.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
The Gainesville Sun reports that Hawthorne plans to proceed with a contest involving children chasing pigs, despite an Alachua County animal exploitation ordinance that bans the activity. According to the article, the county attorney has stated that the county ordinance conflicts with a municipal ordinace that Hawthorne's City Commissioners specifically passed to allow the contest and under those circumstances, the municipal ordinance prevails. The story quotes county resident Elizabeth Howard as follows:
“I’m very disappointed that Hawthorne has chosen to do this. I’m sorry they don’t want to move up to the present day and be kind to animals,” Howard said. “I’m concerned about the welfare of the pigs, and I’m very sorry that children are being taught that it is OK to chase little animals.”
A couple of blogs report that a Florida attorney sent notice to Miami-Dade's Animal Service Attorney questioning the constitutionality of Miami-Dade's ordinance banning pit bulls. The KC Dog Blog posts here and the Animal Law Coalition reports here. The Animal Law Coalition notes that the ban was previously upheld by the federal court in American Dog Owners Ass'n v. Dade County, 728 F. Supp. 1533 (S.D. FL 1989).
Local 6 reports that three men in Indian River County were arrested for allegedly shooting and butchering a cow in a pasture. According to the article, the men have been charged with grand theft, killing of cattle, trespassing and other charges.
The six-toed cats that reside at Ernest Hemingway's estate in Key West are safe for the time being, according to an AP report. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum announced that it had reached an agreement with the USDA that will allow the cats to continue to roam the grounds after having an installed a fence that will keep the cats from leaving the property. The USDA had taken the position that the museum needed a permit to exhibit animals. According to the report, the museum stated that it has payed $250,000 in attorneys' fees and the fence.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Broward county commissioners are moving forward on a resolution to discourage people from buying iguanas, according to Local 10. The resolution would request that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission classify iguanas as a "reptile of concern," which would require purchasers to pay a $100 licensing fee and have the iguana microchipped.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that a number of parrots, potbellied pigs, horses, snakes and tarantulas are among the casualties of the bad economy. Ron Magill, a spokesman for Miami MetroZoo had this to say:
"People are looking for animals they can keep in apartments and condos because they don't have the big houses with the big yards anymore," Magill said. "These small animals fit the bill physically, but not socially. When they learn that, they dump the animal."
The Miami Herald reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will withdraw a proposed rule that would have declared gray wolves in the Northern Rockies fully recovered and removed them from the Endangered Species list. Several western states were attempting to open up hunting of the wolf population, which is estimated to number around 1,500 wolves. In July, a federal judge stopped the states from going forward because of a lawsuit by environmentalists.
Tomorrow, a number of animal law practitioners will gather in Chicago for a presentation by the ABA's animal law committee on the Michael Vick case (link to pdf). I thought I'd note that there are a couple other interesting conferences coming up in the near future, although they'd require some traveling for the Florida Animal Law Practitioner.
First, Lewis & Clark is hosting the 16th Annual Animal Law Conference October 17-19. This year's theme for the conference is "One Earth: Globalism & Animal Law" and features a number of great topics and speakers.
Second, Depaul University's Center for Animal Law is hosting a conference on animal hoarding on October 28th.
According to a press release, Defenders of Wildlife and the Humane Society of the United States sued the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) over its decision to roll back protections for critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, humpbacks, and fin whales.
I'd previously posted about the proposed changes here.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The Palm Beach Post published a letter today from Jen Hobgood, the Florida director of the Humane Society of the United States, that is well worth checking out. After the recent escape of a lion and tiger, HSUS is requesting that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission strengthen the rules associated with captive wildlife. From the letter: The proposed rules include an important provision to prohibit public contact with wildlife at sanctuaries. The ban should be extended to exhibitors as well. Contact such as photo opportunities with tiger cubs creates a market for cubs, which have no place to go when they grow too large and aggressive to handle.
As many as 15,000 primates and about as many big cats are kept in private hands in the United States. Accredited zoos and responsible sanctuaries house only a small share. The rest often live in deplorable conditions in roadside exhibits, pseudo-sanctuaries and back yards.
. . .
The FWC also is proposing requirements for wildlife sanctuaries, closing a regulatory loophole. The commission already issues permits for commercial operations that keep dangerous wild animals, but does not have a permit system for true sanctuaries, which do not exhibit, breed, buy or sell animals.
The proposed rules include an important provision to prohibit public contact with wildlife at sanctuaries. The ban should be extended to exhibitors as well. Contact such as photo opportunities with tiger cubs creates a market for cubs, which have no place to go when they grow too large and aggressive to handle.
Posted by Riley at 10:27 PM
Monday, September 15, 2008
A number of outlets have reported on the latest companion animal food recall based on concerns about possible salmonella contamination. One of the more comprehensive posts I've seen on the recall is over at the Pet Project blog, which notes that over 40 varieties are affected. A list of the each of the varieties is available here at Mars Petcare's website. According to WCTV, Florida and Georgia are in the affected recall area.
- Florida Company Fined for Shipping Frogs to Nevada (KTVN).
- DMX extradited from Florida to face animal cruelty charges (MTV).
- Dog Dies in hot animal control vehicle (First Coast News).
- Canada bans Florida Horses (ABC).
- Animal Sanctuary owner cited after lion/tiger escape (Sun-Sentinel).
- Dog cruelty case now set Oct. 20 in Viera (Florida Today).
- Dogfighting Trial Begins in Seminole County (NBC - WESH).
- Freshwater fish in North America in peril, study finds (Miami Herald).
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Via the University of Miami's Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Blog, there are events scheduled September 16th and 19th that are worth checking out. First, the UM SALDF is having a presetation by Dr. Sean Gelb, the chair of the Florida Bar Animal Law Committee and Miami Animal Law attorney. He will be speaking on September 16th, 2008 from 12:30 to 2 PM at the University of Miami School of Law in room F408. See their post here for more information.
On the 19th, UM's SALDF, FIU Animal Law Society and the St. Thomas Environmental Law Society are holding a happy hour at Sublime restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale from 6-7:30 with proceeds collected going to the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. See this post for more info. If you haven't had the chance to check out Sublime yet, you should attend just to have some of their delicious hors d’oeurves.
Posted by Riley at 11:18 PM
The L.A. Times published an editorial today on the troubling attempt to undermine the Endangered Species Act. The Bush administration has proposed eliminating the requirement that federal agencies consult with scientists U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service before taking action that might impact a listed species. As the article notes, this drastic alteration will allow agencies to "self consult" on the impact on wildlife, even though they likely don't have the they don't have the expertise or the incentive judge these impacts. Moreover, the administration is trying to rush the change through allowing only a shortened comment period and refusing to hold hearings. As the times notes: "The public deserves better. After all, animals as diverse as threatened migratory birds in Alaska to endangered panthers in Florida are affected."
Saturday, September 6, 2008
The Herald Tribune has an article discussing a new report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission entitled "Wildlife 2060: What's at Stake for Florida?"
According to the article, the report found that population growth will consume wildlife habitat covering an area of 7 million acres-equivalent to the size of Vermont-during the next 50 years. Species like the Florida scrub jay, burrowing owl and gopher tortoise will be at highest risk.
FWC's website has a synopsis of the study and copy of the report is available as a pdf download here. The website also has a list of questions for consideration by Floridians:
- Does your city or county have a local land acquisition program?
- Are roads in your community being designed and located to accommodate the needs of wildlife?
- Are you incorporating wildlife habitat conservation measures on your property?
- Does your community view the management of its green infra-structure in the same way it does upkeep and management of public roads, buildings or bridges?
- How does your community support prescribed burning of nearby public and private lands?
- How is your community conserving coastal forests, dunes, beaches and wetlands?
- How is your community safeguarding your region's water resources?
- Is your community protecting shoreline access and working waterfronts?
Posted by Riley at 2:22 PM
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Despite having various typos and bad grammar in some of my more rushed posts, readership of FAL continues to grow with more than 50,000 page views since we started. Thanks for reading!
Here's some stories from the recent past that I haven't had a chance to discuss:
- 40 Polk County Dogs show signs of mistreatment (ABC Action News).
- About 40 dogs seized from kennels in Auburndale (Tampa Bay's 10).
- About Hurricanes, pet evacuations, and rescue efforts underway (Palm Beach Post)
- Suspected puppy mill raided (WCTV Tallahassee).
- 'Skeletal-like' dogs removed from Dover home (Tampa Bay Online).
- Puppies left to die in cage (NBC2 online, Charlotte County).
- Plant City man charged in near-drowning of cat (St. Pete Times).
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The Orlando Sentinel reports that pro-golfer Tripp Isenhour pled guilty to charges that stemmed from killing a hawk. According to the article, Isenhour agreed to one year of supervised probation, four hours of anger management classes, and 100 hours of alternative community service. Forty hours of that community service will be completed at a wildlife or animal shelter. He is also paying $1,500 to the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter, Fla. He was originally charged with one count of cruelty to animals and one count of killing a migratory bird.
The Washington Post reported last week that the Bush Administration is proposing to scale back zones for endangered whales in the Atlantic Ocean. Only 300 right whales are thought to still exist and their numbers have been further reduced by fatal collisions with large ships. According to the article, the proposal to remove of the protections yields to concerns from shipping companies' concerns about new speed limits for ships in these areas.
The Legal Times Blog reports on the 2-1 split decision out of the Federal D.C. Circuit holding that the USDA had the authority to ban companies from testing their cattle for mad cow disease without approval from the government. A copy of the decision is available here. The case is headed back to the district court for a determination of whether the USDA's decision to ban the tests is arbitrary and capricious.