Legal Advocacy

Our Legal Advocacy Program has been working since 2004 to use the legal system as a powerful tool to fight the systemic injustices of factory farming. We focus on creatively using existing criminal laws and civil litigation to target large-scale animal cruelty on factory farms and to protect compassionate consumers from manipulation and unfair business practices by the animal agriculture industry. Farmed animals are given almost no protection under the law, at both the state and federal levels, which makes our task all that more challenging – and important.

We’ve made great strides as we’ve confronted animal agribusiness—both its cruel practices and its unfair business practices.

Our Legal Advocacy Program has continued to grow and thrive, making progress for farmed animals.

High-Speed Chicken Slaughter Lawsuit


Status: Currently in litigation

Key Date: Lawsuit filed on February 25, 2020

On behalf of the billions of chickens slaughtered in the United States every year, Animal Outlook, alongside the Humane Society of the United States, the Government Accountability Project (GAP), Marin Humane Society, and Mercy for Animals, sued the USDA over its reckless high-speed slaughter program.


More news about this lawsuit:

Animal Outlook
Feedstuffs
VegNews


sick chicken inside factory farm

“Downed” Pigs Lawsuit


Status: Currently in litigation

Key Date: Lawsuit filed on February 6, 2020

As part of a coalition of animal protection groups, Animal Outlook filed a lawsuit against Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for failing to protect pigs who are too sick or injured to walk to slaughterhouses, posing serious risks to animals and food safety.


More news about this lawsuit:

Animal Outlook
Vegan News Now
VegNews
Washington Post
Yahoo News


injured pig inside factory farm

High-Speed Pig Slaughter Lawsuit


Status: Currently in litigation

Key Date: Lawsuit filed on December 23, 2019

On December 18, 2019, Animal Outlook joined six other animal protection organizations in filing a lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) challenging the agency’s decision to reduce oversight at pig slaughterhouses and eliminate line speeds on slaughterhouses, exposing millions of pigs to greater suffering and flouting federal humane slaughter, meat inspection, and environmental protection laws. The animal protection groups are represented in the lawsuit by the Lewis and Clark Animal Law Litigation Clinic



sick pig inside factory farm

California Proposition 12 Lawsuit


Status: Currently in litigation

Key Date: Intervention granted November 22, 2019

Alongside seven other animal protection organizations, Animal Outlook has intervened into two separate lawsuits to assist the state of California in defending a 2018 law prohibiting cruel animal confinement measures and the sale of products resulting from such measures.


More news about this lawsuit:

Animal Outlook
California Globe
Food Dive
New Times
Reuters
VegNews


calves being transported for slaughter

Hormel Lawsuit (Amicus)


Status: Currently in litigation

Key Date: Amicus curiae brief filed on August 6, 2019

Animal Outlook, along with two other animal protection organizations, filed an amicus curiae brief (“friend of the court” brief) in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in support of Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) false advertising lawsuit against Hormel.

More news about this lawsuit:

Animal Outlook
Bloomberg
Eater
Food Dive
The New Republic


crowded pigs inside factory farm

Superior Farms Lawsuit


Status: Victory - Case settled with consent decree ordering Superior Farms to pay a substantial fine and implement training and procedures for humane slaughter

Key Date: Consent decree signed on May 15, 2019

Following our 2017 undercover investigation at Superior Farms, the first ever look inside a United States lamb slaughterhouse, Animal Outlook joined Public Justice in filing a lawsuit under the False Claims Act.


More news about this lawsuit:

Animal Outlook
New York Times
Sentiment Media
VegNews
World Animal News


injured pig inside factory farm

Tyson Foods Prosecutions

Status: Victory - 9 employees convicted on 22 counts of animal cruelty

Key Date: Convictions between 2017-2019

Following our groundbreaking 2016 investigation into Tyson Foods’ broiler breeder factory farms in Virginia, Animal Outlook’s vigorous pursuit of prosecution led to the conviction of nine former employees on 22 counts of animal cruelty, the first-ever convictions for cruelty to chickens raised for meat.


More news about this lawsuit:

Animal Outlook (1)
Animal Outlook (2)
Business Insider
Daily Mail
Food Dive
Heavy
News Leader
Richmond
USA Today
Washington Post
WBOC
WMDT
WRIC


crowded pigs inside factory farm

Egg Labeling Lawsuit

Status: Appeal denied

Key Date: Ninth Circuit opinion issued February 27, 2017

In 2013, Animal Outlook (then Compassion Over Killing) and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) co-filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), two agencies within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for failing to regulate animal welfare labeling on egg cartons. Several Bay Area egg consumers who had been deceived by misleading animal welfare claims on egg cartons were co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Pro bono counsel was provided by Bingham McCutchen, LLP.

More news about this lawsuit:

Animal Outlook
Agri-Pulse
Food Safety News
KTVU


injured pig inside factory farm

Foie Gras Lawsuit


Status: Summary judgment granted for USDA

Key Date: Summary judgment granted on December 14, 2016

Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion Over Killing), Animal Legal Defense Fund, Farm Sanctuary, and Animal Protection & Rescue League, and several concerned individuals joined forces to file a lawsuit against the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for allowing the sale of a diseased poultry product commonly known as foie gras.

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More news about this lawsuit:

ADLF
Animal Law
Courthouse News


Price Fixing Lawsuit


Status: Victory – Dairy industry ordered to pay dairy consumers $52 million in class action settlement (Animal Outlook conducted initial research and case theory development).

Key Date: Settlement reached on September 7, 2016

The dairy industry has consistently shown its lack of regard for animal welfare and the environment. Now it’s milking its own consumers by illegally jacking up prices.

On Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 several dairy consumers, including members of Animal Outlook (then Compassion Over Killing), filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers alleging that various dairy companies and trade groups combined to form Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) in order to engage in a price fixing scheme that inflated the price of milk.

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More news about this lawsuit:

Forbes
The Huffington Post
KATU
Time
VegNews
WMCA


Truth In Egg Labeling Lawsuit


Status: Appeal denied

Key Date: Appeal denied on February 27, 2017

Walk into any grocery store in the US, and you’ll likely find cartons of eggs bearing a variety of advertising schemes ranging from images of happy hens roaming around outside to claims such as “animal-friendly.” Surprisingly though, what consumers see or read on the outside of an egg carton doesn’t necessarily represent how the hens who laid those eggs were treated.

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More news about this lawsuit:

Consumer Affairs
Courthouse News
KTVU
Law 360


"Humane" Claims Lawsuit


Status: Victory – Kroger agreed to remove “humane” label from Simple Truth chicken products

Key Date: Settlement reached in October 2014

On February 11, 2014, a consumer of Simple Truth chicken—Kroger, Co.'s store brand—filed a class-action lawsuit in the Superior Court of California in the County of Los Angeles alleging that the grocery giant is falsely and deceptively touting its Simple Truth chicken as having been sourced from chickens raised "in a humane environment," despite the fact that the birds are treated no differently than other mass-produced chickens confined on factory farms and killed in industrial slaughter plants.

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