Cruelty laws apply to livestock, lawsuit says
Animal rights group seeks more specific oversight
By LEVI PULKKINEN, P-I REPORTER
In an attempt to expand animal cruelty criminal laws to cover the treatment of livestock, a Seattle-based animal rights group has filed a lawsuit arguing that existing laws give industry undue control over how animals are housed and slaughtered.
In the suit filed earlier this month by the Northwest Animal Rights Network, the activists aim, at a minimum, to limit the manner in which meat and dairy producers treat their livestock, said Adam Karp, a Bellingham attorney representing NARN.
Under state law, animal cruelty can be charged as a felony. But the law exempts livestock handlers from prosecution so long as their actions are in line with "customary animal husbandry practices."
That standard, Karp argued, gives the industry far too great a role in determining what is and isn't humane treatment. Karp alleged that many practices considered "customary" by meat, milk and egg producers are unduly and unnecessarily cruel. Read More
This is tactic that animal rights groups are employing; tie the image of livestock and pets together in the consumer’s mind. To suggest that livestock should live in our house with us is not exactly a workable deal. Besides, isn’t HSUS trying to make it illegal to house livestock indoors?