Tuesday, June 12, 2012 6:51 AM PT
Lesson Learned, Circuit Axes
Calif. Slaughter Law

     (CN) - Heeding the reversal of the Supreme Court, the 9th Circuit vacated a ruling that allowed California to regulate the slaughter of nonambulatory animals.
     California began requiring slaughterhouses to immediately euthanize cows and other animals that cannot walk or stand after the Humane Society released a video in 2008 showing such "downer" cows being kicked, electrocuted and otherwise mistreated at the Westland/Hallmark Slaughterhouse.
     The video also resulted in the largest beef recall in U.S. history. Later a federal judge blocked the law based on federal pre-emption. The 9th Circuit reversed on appeal, but the Supreme Court upended that decision in January.
     "The clause prevents a state from imposing any additional or different - even if nonconflicting - requirements that fall within the scope of the act and concern a slaughter­house's facilities or operations," according to that unanimous ruling. "And at every turn §599f imposes additional or different requirements on swine slaughterhouses: It compels them to deal with nonambula­tory pigs on their premises in ways that the federal act and regulations do not."
     In a brief order Friday, the federal appeals panel vacated its reversal and sided with the District Court.