If it Looks Like a Duck: New Jersey, the Regulation of Common Farming Practices and the Meaning of 'Humane'
ANIMAL LAW AND THE COURTS: A READER, Taimie Bryant, David N. Cassuto, Rebecca Huss, eds., Thomson West, 2008
38 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2008
It is hard to comprehend the number of animals killed for food in the United States. More than ten billion animals (excluding fish) die every year.
In spite of the enormity of this industry, few laws exist to protect these animals from inhumane treatment. One of the few jurisdictions to attempt to pass such a law is New Jersey, which, in 1996, for reasons that are not completely clear, amended its anti-cruelty statute to provide that the "raising, keeping, care, treatment, marketing and sale of domestic livestock" will be presumed not to be illegally cruel if these animals are kept in accordance with "humane standards."
This statute permitted the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to determine whether modern common farming practices are humane. In turn, upon the ensuing litigation, the New Jersey courts were faced with the same question.
Keywords: animal law, farm animals, administrative law
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