Justia California Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Animal / Dog Law
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Plaintiff and the late Robert Culp filed suit seeking to enjoin the continued operation of the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo. Plaintiff alleged that the Zoo’s conduct violated animal cruelty provisions in the Penal Code, and constituted illegal expenditures of, waste of, or injury to public funds and property. On appeal, both parties challenged the trial court's issuance of limited injunctions prohibiting the use of particular forms of inappropriate discipline, requiring the elephants have specific amounts of exercise time, and requiring the rototilling of the soil in the exhibit. The court agreed with the trial court that the court's decision in the first appeal was law of the case of plaintiff's right to bring a taxpayer action based on violations of certain Penal Code provisions concerning animal abuse. In the alternative, the court concluded that Civil Code section 3369, which prohibits the issuance of an injunction to enforce a penal law, does not apply to taxpayer suits. The court further concluded that the trial court’s injunctions concerning soil maintenance and exercise time were proper, but rejected plaintiff's claims that the trial court erred by otherwise declining to close the elephant exhibit. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Leider v. Lewis" on Justia Law

Posted in: Animal / Dog Law
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California Exposition and State Fairs (Cal Expo), regulated by Food and Agriculture Code 3301, is responsible for organizing the State Fair every July and enters into an agreement every year with the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The School sets up and manages the livestock nursery exhibit where pregnant pigs and other animals are put on display for three weeks to give birth and nurse. Cal Expo provides the land, tent, support infrastructure, and financial compensation, while the School provides the animals, equipment, and staff. Transporting pigs during the last two weeks of their pregnancy causes suffering due to stress and physical discomfort, potentially resulting in an aborted pregnancy. At the fair, the School places the pregnant pigs in farrowing crates, so small that the mother pigs cannot turn around or walk, for the three-week duration of the State Fair. Plaintiffs filed a complaint asserting a section 526a taxpayer action, premised on the theory that defendants waste taxpayer money and staff time by obtaining, transporting, and exhibiting pregnant pigs. The court of appeal affirmed dismissal, agreeing that California’s animal cruelty laws (Pen. Code, 597, 597t.)are not enforceable through a taxpayer action. View "Animal Legal Def.Fund v. CA Exposition & St. Fairs" on Justia Law